Meru County public health team has partnered with relevant stakeholders in the region on a mission to eliminate stray dogs in major towns and shopping centres.
Speaking to KNA at Kianjai shopping centre last Friday, a Public Health Officer Mr. Ephantus Kariuki said the move was meant to contain the increasing number of people seeking treatment in health facilities after being attacked by dogs in the towns and shopping centres.
Kariuki said most cases of dog attacks were reported in Tigania and Igembe sub-counties where most of the victims were children of school going age.
He said the exercise was planned to cover all sub-counties to ensure that everybody was safe especially now that schools had opened and children were moving to and from home every day.
The officer appealed for support of chiefs and their assistants in sensitising the public on the need to have all their livestock vaccinated against diseases including the domestic animals.
Kariuki observed the need for people to ensure dogs in their homesteads were adequately vaccinated against rabies among other diseases which were very expensive for people to treat.
He reiterated that anybody found to own a stray dog after the mass elimination exercise would be punished for putting other people at risk.
Referring to the stray dogs menace, County Assembly Health Committee Chair, Martin Mworia said public health was a collective responsibility hence the need to involve all players to ensure Meru residents remained healthy as they embark on productive activities.
He regretted to note that some of the children attacked by stray dogs were still hospitalised and not able to report back to school for the first term while some parents were not able to raise the hospital bills.
I appeal to leaders in areas where such children are to take up the responsibility of ensuring the bills were cleared, whether directly or indirectly as a way of assisting the victims get back to school.” Mworia said.
Mworia said the economic potential in the County needed a healthy population for it to boost economic growth, resulting in job and wealth creation.
He said the County was working towards elevating Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital to the Level 6 status along with establishing and equipping three more to Level 5 hospitals in a bid to decongest existing public and private health facilities in the region.
By Makaa Margaret