Elgeyo Marakwet County targets to vaccinate more than 15,000 dogs by the end of 2021 to fight rabies infection across the county.
The Chief Officer, Department of Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Dr Benson Kibore, said that vaccination of dogs for a continuous period of five years will eliminate rabies completely.
He noted that more than 59,000 people are infected by rabies worldwide every year while on the other hand it leads to the death of more than 2,000 people every year in Kenya.
He said that they are working together with the national target for prevention and elimination of death by rabies by 2030, a Strategic Plan for Elimination of Human Rabies by the year 2014-2030.
Dogs and cats are the main carriers of the rabies virus which are mostly found in almost every household where rabies is transmitted to humans through animal bites.
“We are calling on the residents of Elgeyo Marakwet County to ensure that when vaccination drives are organized, they should ensure that they bring their dogs for vaccination against the virus,” he said.
The Chief Officer was speaking as the world celebrated the World Rabies Day which is marked every year on 28th September to look back at the progress made in the process of eliminating and controlling the virus.
Dr Kibore has however called upon the government to hire more veterinary officers in the country in order to improve access to the vaccination services. He added that most of the veterinary practitioners at this point have either retired or are nearing retirement.
He said that the cost of vaccination of dogs against rabies is less that Sh1000 while the cost of treatment of an infected person is much higher at about Sh20, 000.
By Walter Kibet and Alice Wanjiru