UK government supports specialized fish health training for Ghanaian fisheries officers

May 22, 2024
UK government supports specialized fish health training for Ghanaian fisheries officers

A group of 26 selected fisheries officers of the Fisheries Commission of Ghana have benefited from specialized fish health and biosecurity training, with support from the UK government.

This brings to 56 the number of officers trained with support from the Animal Health System Strengthening Project (AHSS), a UK overseas development assistance (ODA) project managed by the UK government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

An official statement copied the Ghana Need Agency in , said the training took place in with practical sessions run at the Ghana Fisheries Commission's Pilot Aquaculture Centre at Kona-Odumase.

It said though crucial to detecting, controlling, and preventing known and emerging aquatic diseases, these officers have never previously received fish health and formal biosecurity training.

“Through AHSS' partnership with the Fisheries Commission, Ghana's national capacity for effective fish health disease surveillance and diagnosis will be enhanced.

“The intervention is expected to help integrate aquatic health systems into Ghana's overall health security framework and further cements the strong partnership between the UK and Ghana in the area of development and science,” it added.

The training was delivered by four trained Ghanaian veterinarians, who work with the Fisheries Commission, supported by visiting experts from the Fish Health Inspectorate of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), one of Defra's science agencies, responsible for delivering the AHSS project.

The statement said the trained officers would be guided to utilize the skills and knowledge gained to promote fish disease prevention and management strategies as part of the extension services for fish farmers across the country.

They would also promote sustainable development of aquaculture, it explained.
The UK experts and Ghanaian veterinarians engaged the fisheries officers in both practical and classroom sessions to enhance both their knowledge and skills.
Fish mortality and disease investigation scenarios were devised to test officers' knowledge.

Best practice biosecurity measures for aquaculture were discussed and identified risk mitigation measures were reviewed.

Issues of poor water quality, fish stocking, fish husbandry, disinfections methods, antimicrobial use, and resistance (AMR), and standardised data recording documents and templates were introduced to the officers.

The Animal Health Systems Strengthening (AHSS) project in Ghana, is part of a flagship Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding bilateral technical partnership between the 's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and countries in Africa, including Ghana, , , and The Gambia.

The AHSS project complements efforts made by national government and other key stakeholders to achieve SD Goals 1, 2 and 3 (Zero Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Wellbeing) and other high level strategic objectives including the (AU) Agenda 2063, and zero by 2030: The global strategic plan to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030.

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