Health Authorities Target 20,000 Dogs & Cats With Rabies Vaccine
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in collaboration with Environment Protection Agency and partners will embark on a nationwide vaccination of over 20,000 dogs and cats on the day marking World Rabies Day on Monday 28th September, 2020.
World Rabies Day is globally set aside to raise awareness on the risk of rabies and how the disease can be prevented from animals and humans. The theme for this year’s celebration focuses on advocacy for collaboration to eliminate the disease through vaccination which reads as: ”End rabies; collaborate, vaccinate to eliminate”. In marking last year’s celebration, health authorities launched a National Communication Campaign to raise awareness on stopping dog bites and the risk of Rabies in humans.
Marking the day’s celebration, a symbolic vaccination of dogs and cats will be done in Freetown at the back of Miatta Conference Hall and in Western Area Rural District Council hall at Waterloo. Similar event will be replicated in the 14 district head quarter towns at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry district officers. Animal and human Health experts will also gathered on Monday 28th at the Family Kingdom to further discuss and raise awareness on the risk of the disease in both humans and animals.
Rabies is a very serious sickness that is caused by a virus and can affect both humans and animals. The disease is not only limited to dogs and cats but can also affect other animals like cows, goats, and sheep. However, most of the reported cases of rabies have been associated with dog bits or scratch. The virus is in the saliva of an infected animal and can transfer from animal to animal through a bit and to humans through direct contact and exposure of the saliva or bight from an infected animal, Dog for Example.
We can prevent rabies in animals through vaccination and people should desist from disturbing dogs, they might fell afraid and tend to react with a bight or scratch putting you at risk of the disease. People should also be gentle with dogs, especially if entering in an area where people keep dogs as pets and security. It is good to stay away fr5om any dog that looks strange and behaves in an abnormal way.
If you have cases of dog bites or you see someone persisting with signs and symptoms of rabies, report immediately to any Animal Health Worker or Community Health Worker in your area/community or call 117 for prompt medical attention.
By Ibrahim Sorie Korama, Health Education Officer-HED/MoHS
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