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Health News Sat, 3 Oct 2015

Central Region recorded eight rabies cases last year

The Central Regional Veterinary Service last year recorded eight rabies cases as against two from January to August this year.

Mr Michael Aggrey-Korsah, the Cape Coast Metropolitan Veterinary Officer who made this known in an interview with the GNA in Cape Coast on Wednesday, said one person died of rabies last year.

He said a total of 48 dog bites cases were recorded at the unit, out of which eight rabies cases were confirmed after laboratory tests with one death.

Mr Aggrey-Korsah advised that all dog bite cases should be reported at the veterinary office to ascertain if it was rabies infected instead of rushing the victim to the hospital.

This was because in most cases health personnel prescribed vaccines for victims of dog bites without determining the dog’s rabies status and that in some cases the vaccines for the victim may not be necessary if the dog involved was rabies free.

He said a total of 1,971 dogs, 298 cats and three monkeys were vaccinated in the Region last year and that from January to August this year a total of 1, 564 dogs, 112 cats and five monkeys have been vaccinated against rabies.

He said 10 dog bite cases have so far been recorded in the Region this year with two rabies confirmed cases and appealed to people who keep dogs, cats and monkeys as pets to endeavour to annually vaccinate them against the disease.

Mr Aggrey-Korsah explained that rabies was the only deadly disease world-wide that is 100 percent preventable and could be eliminated totally from the country if given the needed attention and sponsorship.

He said though his outfit had enough vaccines it was difficult for the ordinary Ghanaian to purchase them because it needed sponsorship to subsidize the cost of the drugs.

He therefore called on the various assemblies to assist the service to embark on free anti rabies vaccination exercise to protect lives and also kick out rabies in the country.

On control measures, Mr Aggrey-Korsah said his outfit has intensified its educational campaign and prevention methods, and that efforts were being made to collaborate with the district assemblies to help destroy all unvaccinated dogs and cats to check the disease.

He advised the public to take care of their pets, adding, “Your dog is not your neighbours' and its up -keep should be yours and not your neighbours'.

“If you know you cannot take care of a dog do not keep one, as much as it can be a good servant it could also be a dangerous species in the environment,” he added.Mr Aggrey-Korsah mentioned inadequate staff, logistics and lack of a well-equipped laboratory as the major challenges of the service and called for the needed support and assistance.

Source: GNA