A drive aimed at vaccinating 20,000 dogs and cats against rabies has kicked off in Bomet County ahead of this year’s World Rabies Day, scheduled to take place on September 28 in the Sotik Club stadium.
Bomet County Director of Veterinary Services Gilbert Koech stated that they have partnered with the Kenya Red Cross to ensure the exercise runs smoothly.
Koech said the mass vaccination of cats and dogs will be the first one in the region, explaining that it was prompted by the high number of cases related to rabies that are recorded annually in the county.
Speaking during the launch of the drive at Kabisoronik Village in Kipkeres Ward, he revealed that 200 cases have been reported over the last 12 months.
“Cases of rabies are still rampant in the county, and we have partnered with the Kenya Red Cross to ensure we carry out a mass vaccination of dogs and cats to minimise the huge risk and exposure to people,” he explained.
The director said one serious case was reported recently in Chepalungu Sub County, where a man was bitten by an infected dog and died while receiving treatment at the sub county’s hospital.
Koech said veterinary officers would pitch tents in all the wards within Bomet County, adding that the exercise was being offered free of charge, courtesy of Red Cross support.
Monica Okwany from the Red Cross reiterated that under the One Health Programme, they are partnering with the county to roll out the vaccination drive at no cost to Mwanchi.
She said that by doing so, they intended to have a society free of zoonotic diseases, which can be controlled through vaccination.
Koech revealed that rabies was prevalent in Chepalungu due to its proximity to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
He said they were also facing challenges in the border areas of Sotik due to low enforcement in the neighbouring counties.
By Lamech Willy and Eddah Mutai