The Ebonyi State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has begun free deworming for dogs, urging massive sensitisation and partnerships to eliminate rabies.
The Chairman, Ebonyi Animal-Mediated Rabies Control Programme (EBARAP), Dr Okoro Nwenyi, made the disclosure on Tuesday during the World Rabies Day 2020 celebration in Abakaliki.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) repirts that World Rabies Day is celebrated annually to raise awareness about rabies prevention and highlight progress in defeating it.
It is also a global call for action against rabies by raising awareness on its havoc and urging vaccination of dogs.
Nwenyi called for sensitisation on the dangers of rabies and partnerships toward its elimination.
He described animal deworming as a measure to reduce parasites in them to improve their health and prevent transmission of bacteria to their human owners.
Nwenyi noted that the 2020 World Rabies Day celebration had the theme: “End Rabies; Collaborate, Vaccinate’’.
He said that the event was aimed at creating awareness on rabies control.
The chairman said Ebonyi aligned with the global target of eliminating rabies by the year 2030 as set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and others.
According to him, rabies is a disease of dogs that can affect man and has no known cure but preventable through vaccination.
Nwenyi said that EBARAP was committed to eliminating rabies.
“Bring all dogs for free deworming. We are open for partnership and collaboration with organisations; as any disease control programme is driven by partnership,’’ Nwenyi said.
The Director, Veterinary Services Department in the state, Dr Ephraim Nwanga, said the rate of rabies in the state was high.
Nwanga also disclosed that the department had recorded death of a nine-year-old boy, due to cat bite.
He said that there was the need to educate the people on the importance of vaccinating their dogs against rabies and to take proper treatment, if bitten by a dog and a cat.
“It is estimated that out of every 10 deaths of children, four are as a result of rabies.
“There have been lots of cases, hence, the need for massive sensitisation,’’ he said.
The director said that collaboration with individuals, groups and organisations to eradicate the disease was necessary.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Moses Ogodoali, said that rabies was worrisome.
Ogodoali, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Ritamary Okoro, encouraged particiannts in the event to take advantage of it to be enlightened on the dangers of rabies.
He applauded veterinary services department, members of EBARAP and Regional Disease Surveillance System Enhancement Project (RDSSEP) group for their support and contributions.
“Let us not always wait for what government will do for us but what to do for the state by drawing attention of partners to collaborate for development,’’ Ogodoali said. (NAN)