Kajiado North Sub County Department of Veterinary Services has officially rolled out a five-week vaccination exercise against rabies in Upper Matasia, Esilanke and Kahara areas.
The exercise now in its second week is offered free of charge and is sponsored by the Action for protection of Animals Africa in conjunction with the County government of Kajiado informed by a rise in incidences of the disease in the area.
The campaign involves the mass vaccination of dogs against rabies as well as neutering of dogs and cats to control their breeding habits, with the target for the campaign being to ensure over 1,000 dogs vaccinated against the deadly rabies virus.
Rabies is a vaccine preventable viral disease. Dogs are the main source of human rabies induced deaths contributing up to 99 per cent of all rabies transmissions to humans.
It is spread to humans and animals through bites. Dog vaccination reduces deaths attributable to dog mediated rabies.
According to Tertulla Mwamburi, a veterinary officer, the increase of rabies cases has been noted to be on the rise in most parts of the country and so far they have recorded a case of rabies in Kajiado North, Ollolua ward.
“The purpose of this exercise is to try and eliminate rabies in our county. There is an alert of an outbreak of rabies and therefore we are urging all residents to bring their dogs for vaccination. We have been doing the free vaccination of rabies and deworming for 2 weeks now and this exercise will run for 5 weeks. We would also urge all residents to bring stray dogs for the vaccination if possible.” Mwamburi said.
Residents have expressed satisfaction with the exercise because it will curb the rising cases of rabies.
“I have brought my dogs for vaccination so that they cannot be of any harm to people and other dogs. I am grateful to the concerned organization and the county government for bringing forth this exercise for free. We are looking forward to curbing rabies,” Joseph Miriti said.
On average rabies post-exposure prophylaxis costs between Sh5, 000 and Sh7,500. The rabies virus attacks the brain, and once symptoms appear, it is 100 percent fatal. Symptoms include fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion; eventually death comes within 14 days.
Dog owners have been advised to be responsible for the care of their animals.
They need to ensure that their dogs are well fed and are vaccinated promptly. It is cheaper to prevent rabies by vaccinating dogs than treating human rabies. Human rabies can be prevented by vaccinating at least 70 per cent of the dog population.
By Kimani Agnes