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Health News of Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Source: GNA

Kpone-Katamanso Assembly Members urged to intensify rabies campaign

Joseph Kwesi Gbeze Joseph Kwesi Gbeze

Joseph Kwesi Gbeze, Presiding Member Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Assembly on Tuesday tasked Assembly Members in the Municipality to intensify the campaign against the spread of rabies disease.

He reminded them that as stakeholders they should lead the campaign within their respective communities.

The Presiding Members made the remark during the 15th edition of the World Rabies Day celebration held in Kpone; and stressed that rabies disease was overlooked for a long time adding that residents must be made to know its dangers.

He explained that through symposiums, town hall meetings, communal labour and one-on-one interactions with residents, Assembly members could advise the residents on the need to vaccinate their pets against rabies infections.

He said the Municipal Assembly would continue to support the Municipal veterinary directorate and called on other Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country to replicate the campaign in their various jurisdictions.

The 2021 edition of world Rabies Day was on the theme, ‘Rabies; Fact, not Fears with the aim of raising the global goal of eliminating rabies deaths by 2030.

Meanwhile, Dr. Emmanuel Kwao Pecku, Tema Metropolis Veterinary Officer said rabies was estimated to cause 59,000 human deaths annually in over 150 countries, with 95 per cent of cases occurring in Africa and Asia.

He said due to underreporting and uncertain estimates, this number is likely a gross underestimate. The burden of disease is disproportionally borne by rural poor populations, with approximately half of cases attributable to children under 15 years of age.

Dr Pecku quoting a World Health Organization (WHO) report noted that; although fatal once clinical signs appear, rabies is avoidable; vaccines, medicines and technologies have been available to prevent death from rabies.
“Nevertheless, rabies still kills tens of thousands of people each year. Of these cases, approximately 99 per cent are acquired from the bite of an infected dog.

“Dog-mediated human rabies can be eliminated by tackling the disease at its source: infected dogs. Making people aware of how to avoid the bites of rabid dogs, to seek treatment when bitten and to vaccinate animals can disrupt the rabies transmission cycle,” Dr. Pecku made this revelation during a stakeholder’s engagement with the Tema Ghana News Agency.

The Veterinary officer explained that most people in Africa do not seek early medical treatment after dog bites.

Dr. Pecku said the rabies disease if not treated and the affected person starts showing clinical signs “there is no means for recovery as the affected person will die hence the need to seek early treatment”.

According to him, the disease was ravaging people and called on stakeholders to support the campaign to get Cats, Monkeys and Dogs vaccinated as the surest way preventing the disease from spreading and also advised residents to secure their pets.

The Tema Metro Veterinary Directorate has targeted about 4,000 animals to be vaccinated in Kpone-Katamanso, Tema West, and Tema Metropolitan Assembly by the end of October 2021.

He also called on the media to support the rabies vaccination exercise.

Rabies is a viral zoonotic disease that causes progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

Clinically, it has two forms: Furious rabies-characterized by hyperactivity and hallucinations; and Paralytic rabies-characterized by paralysis and coma.

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