By State House Communication Unit
President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Thursday 14 December inaugurated the reestablishment of the Teko Veterinary Laboratory in Bombali district, asserting that livestock is part of agriculture and very vital to human growth and development.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President Koroma said the reopening of the Teko lab would help control several human diseases that are said to be acquired from animals. He recalled that before the rebel war the Teko Veterinary Laboratory was fully functional and provided animal health services to farmers not only in Sierra Leone but also in neighboring countries.
The president pointed out that his government has always been emphasizing on agriculture and good health as both are basic fundamentals in human growth.
According to FAO Country Rep. Madam Nyabenyi Tipo, about 70 percent of human diseases comes from animals, saying that the reestablishment of the Teko lab will help to detect, control and prevent several infectious diseases in the country. She assured of FAO’s commitment to global health agenda and that of serving Sierra Leone. She also assured of training good number of animal health workers to provide services across the country.
Explaining the importance of the diagnostic laboratory further, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Professor Patrick Monty Jones, said the lab would help prevent dangerous contagious diseases, pointing out that had the Teko lab been functional before 2014, the country could have been in better position to minimize if not prevent the Ebola disease that ravaged the country. He disclosed that research over the years has proven that about fifteen deadly human diseases had come from spices/animals. He said the lab would help to improve on livestock production in the country and at the same time control dangerous diseases.