World Rabies’ Day: Take your dog for vaccination – Vet Doctor task owners
By: Femi Mustapha
Worried by the recent reports of four new rabies’ cases in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna, State Chairman, National Veterinary Medical Association of Nigeria, Dr. Yila Lakorok, has called on owners of dogs to take them for regular vaccination.
Dr. Lakorok stated this during the flagged-off of activities for the 2022 World Rabies’ Day celebration yesterday in Kaduna, with the theme: “’ Rabies: One Health, Zero Deaths’.
According to him, it is better to vaccinate dogs to prevent rabies infection than the treatment of an infected person. He said if dog owners vaccinate their dogs it will drastically eliminate the deaths resulting from dog bites and human rabies.
He appealed to government and non-governmental organizations, colleagues in human and public health, and animal health professionals to form a synergy and work for rabies awareness and control.
In his remarks, the Director of Veterinary Service, Kaduna State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Sam Pakachi, said rabies is a viral, zoonotic disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals and is fatal with the onset of clinical signs; pointing out that each year; rabies causes approximately 59,000 deaths worldwide with 95 percent occurring in Asia and Africa.
He added that rabies is one of the neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) that predominantly affects poor and vulnerable populations and in up to 99 percent of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for the virus transmission to humans
He said, “In the past year, we witnessed about four human cases of rabies, whose sad reality underscores the rift and chasm in our health system. It brings to the fore the need to
Similarly, Olorunfemi Gbenga, of CoreGroup said the World Rabies’ Day is the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur who, with the collaboration of his colleagues, developed the first efficacious Rabies Vaccine.
“World Rabies Day aims to raise awareness about the impact of Rabies on humans and animals, provide information and advice on how to prevent the disease in at-risk communities, and support advocacy for increased efforts in Rabies control, prevention, and prophylaxis.
The advocacy work of the World Rabies Day campaign includes promoting government involvement in rabies prevention and control programs, through the One Health approach, increasing the vaccination coverage of pets and community dogs, and improving the educational awareness of how to prevent rabies at all levels of society.
“One Health is an approach to designing and implementing programs, policies, legislations, and research in which multiple sectors plan, communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes for the human, animal, and environment sectors.
“The world is confronted with recurrent epidemics and other public health events that impact negatively on human health but whose origin may be traced to nonhuman sources. Disease occurrence and spread are related to environmental factors, animal health, climate change, and other human activities such as travel, urbanization, and globalization,” he said