Dr Ephraim Nwanga, the Director Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Ebonyi, has called for concerted efforts among Nigerians to end rabies by 2030 through the vaccination of dogs.
Nwanga made the call on Saturday during a dog walk in Abakaliki to mark 2020 World Rabies Day, organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Regional Disease Surveillance System Enhancement (REDISSE) Project of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The day is celebrated every September 28 to create public awareness against rabies and this year’s theme is “End rabies: collaborate, vaccinate”.
Nwanga said the year 2030 was targeted to eradicate the disease because of the condition rabies posed to dogs and human being when contracted.
He described rabies as a disease that can be transmitted from animals, including bats, vampires and dogs, among others, to human being through bite.
He said: “Collaborate to vaccinate your dogs because it is 100 per cent prevention when you do.
“It is important to vaccinate your dog’s because a lot of people have died due to rabies bite and 2030 is being targeted to eradicate the disease in our society.”
He listed the paralysis of the legs, limbs, tail, salivating, trying to catch any moving objects and the dog would hardly drink water, among the signs of rabies-carrying dogs.
He advised that dogs with such signs should be taken to dog clinics for vaccination to prevent the spread of rabies.
Nwanga commended supporters for their assistance to ensure safety and good health of society through vaccination.
He also lauded the state chapter of the Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association for its contribution to the campaign to end rabies by 2030.
Some dog others and breeders, including Casimir Anyanwu, Clement Obodo and Excellent Onyedikachi, thanked the ministry for partnering with them to achieve a rabies-free society.
They called for continuous public enlightement on dog breeding.
“We want veterinary doctors and state government to make this event a regular exercise.
“They should organise seminars for breeders because we are lagging behind in the area of information in Ebonyi.
“This is our first time to attend a dog walk in the state and more needs to be done to develop it because dogs serve as a great companion at home and for security purposes,” they said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that highlights of the week-long event included free deworming of dogs in the three senatorial zones of the state and lectures.