NationalNews

RABIES: Uganda develops rabies fighting strategy

BY MATHEW OKELLO

TORORO

The government has developed a national strategy in line with the global strategy aimed at eliminating rabies, the minister of state for the animal industry has said

Mr Bright Rwamirama who was speaking during the national celebration of World Rabies day held at Lion Children Park today in Tororo municipality noted that rabies is currently a national problem and roughly claims 32 lives annually.

“In support of the existing laws on the fight against rabies-like Rabies Act cap 44, animal disease act amongst others, the government has generated a national strategy with key components of data collection on rabies cases, mass awareness and mass vaccination of pets and front-line veterinary officers as an initiative to keep rabies out of Uganda by 2030,” Mr Rwamirama said.

This year world rabies day has been celebrated under the theme: theme ‘Rabies: One Health, Zero Deaths

Mr Rwamirama expressed worry over the increasing Zoonotic diseases in the country like Ebola, rabies, Marburg among others, and advised the general public to minimize kissing and do so to only people they trust.

The Tororo district veterinary officer Dr Daniel Pakasi Nalapa called for increased public awareness on the effects of rabies and the benefits of vaccinating their pets.

Dr Nalapa decried low vaccine uptake for example in 2021, only 2761 pets were vaccinated and so far in 2022 due to the mass vaccination carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, only 3566 pets have been vaccinated against a population of 17,000 pets, just representing of 12%.

To solve these challenges, Dr Nalapa fronted for control of the pet population through castration and spaying, equipping the existing laboratories and improving the disease reporting system.

Mr Daniel Kasibule the president of Uganda Vet. Association called for the government to establish a vet council, a fully-fledged animal ministry to truck the animal diseases bill to solve animal-related challenges in the country.

He further called upon the government to provide the veterinary officers with means of transport at the district levels to facilitate their work.

The Tororo district chairperson Mr John Okea asked the government to besides increasing on the distribution of animal vaccines in the district to also allocate money to the veterinary officers for their operations so that Zoonotic diseases can be easily fought.

The Tororo municipality Member of Parliament Mr Apollo Yeri Ofwono called upon the government to practically decentralize veterinary services to sub-county and division levels so that other animal diseases are trucked to avoid causing losses. Ends

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