Interview – May 2019
Nigeria has been involved in several PVS Pathway activities since 2010. In 2019, WOAH conducted a PVS Evaluation Follow-up mission in Nigeria, with a specific content on peste des petits ruminants (PPR) to assess the country’s specific needs to control this disease.
Dr Olaniran Alabi, Chief Veterinary Officer and WOAH national Delegate of Nigeria explains how the PVS Pathway helped Veterinary Services advocate for more support for their activities.
How did the PVS Evaluation mission proceed?
Dr Olaniran Alabi: We identified critical stakeholders to agree on a workplan. Among them were the Directors of State Veterinary Services, veterinarians from different sectors, as well as sheep and goats’ associations. Then we had field visits. The two-week mission was designed to cover every part of Nigeria. At the end, a report was produced by the experts who conducted the mission. We validated it with all critical stakeholders.
How did you use the report to improve Veterinary Services in your country?
O.A.: It helped us identify gaps and set up priorities. It also served as an advocacy document with great success. We recently learned that the Federal government was going to grant us financial support for the control of transboundary animal diseases and slaughterhouses upgrades. The report guided us to address specific shortcomings in our Veterinary Services. The report assisted and facilitated the inauguration of the national board for our Veterinary Statutory Body, after the PVS report helped us convince the government of its importance in coordinating actions nationwide. Following the PVS recommendations, we are improving our engagement of veterinary paraprofessionals (VPPs) including their registration by the Veterinary statutory body. We are engaging them in our activities to make sure best practices are used across the country, especially in remote areas where VPPs are the only animal health personnel available.
How did the PPR component of the PVS evaluation help?
O.A.: Our production system for small ruminants mainly consists of smallholder and semi-intensive farms. Village women are very much involved. It is an important source of livelihood for rural communities. The PPR component was therefore critical as it helped us advocate for better funds and gave us valuable information in support of the national PPR control and eradication plan.