Nyandarua County Department of Veterinary has embarked on anti-rabies vaccination campaign in Mairo Inya, Ndaragwa Sub- County where stray dogs have become a nuisance to resident.
The exercise which kicked off last Wednesday at Mairo Inya and Kwa Iria villages in Ndaragwa Sub- County is aimed at curbing the spread of rabies after many residents were bitten by the stray dogs.
According to Ndaragwa Sub- County Veterinary Officer, Dr. Elijah Njenga Chomba, the Department did ring vaccination in the two locations because there has been a reported case of stray dogs around the area’s abattoir.
“The exercise is aimed at preventing an outbreak of rabies in the area in case stray dogs bite domestic dogs. There has been a single case reported of rabies in the area and we are expecting to vaccinate over 100 dogs today. Residents need to give dogs the same attention they give to cattle vaccination,” emphasized Dr. Chomba.
According to Kiriita ward Animal Health Assistant Officer, Daniel Njogu, rabies is a deadly virus spread to people from the saliva of infected animals.
Rabies is usually spread through an animal bite. Animals most likely to spread rabies include dogs, bats, coyotes, foxes, skunks and raccoons. He said that ring vaccination is conducted in a small area around where a case has been reported of a dog attacking a human or animals.
“Unlike mass vaccination where a large region is covered and a two weeks’ notice is given, ring vaccination is done on short notice immediately when a case has been reported. It aims at preventing zoonotic disease infections which means that it can be transmitted from livestock to humans,” said Njogu
Mairo Inya Assistant Chief Frederick Kabiru said that he was grateful to the county veterinary department and also to the residents for quick response despite the short notice. He said that the publicity was done through churches, Nyumba kumi committees and announcements in schools.
“We want to thank the Nyandarua County Veterinary Department for their quick response to our distress call by vaccinating the dogs in these locations,” said Kabiru.
According to WHO, about 2,000 people die of rabies in Kenya every year. Children under the age of 15 and communities in remote rural areas are at the highest risk.
The disease is transmitted through the saliva of infected mammals, usually through a bite. Once contracted it has almost a 100 per cent fatality rate in humans.
By Antony Mwangi and Gathoni Nyambura