The Kebbi Government on Monday said it vaccinated no fewer than 17,200 dogs against rabies.
Aminu Dandiga, the Commissioner for Animal Health, Husbandry and Fisheries, made this known during an event organised by the state’s chapter of Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) to celebrate the 2020 World Rabies Day in Birnin Kebbi.
The commissioner explained that Kebbi has an estimated dog population of over 40,000, out of which, 43 per cent have been vaccinated.
He added that 87 persons were exposed to rabies disease and 79 had received post-exposure prophylaxis in 2019.
Mr Dandiga said the state government, through the Ministry of Animal Health, Husbandry and Fisheries had been at the forefront of the fight against livestock diseases.
“The most dreaded disease is rabies, especially as the state came under high attacks by high incidences of dog bites, some of which cases upon investigation, were found to be positive for rabies,” he said.
He commended the governor, Atiku Bagudu, “for timely intervention and release of funds for rabies and anthrax control and containment, among others.”
“I wish to also commend the efforts of our veterinarians, particularly the leadership and members of the NVMA, for blazing the trail innovatively.
“I thank them for ensuring that government policies and programmes, as related to the ministry, are given the necessary support to succeed,” he said.
Aishatu Abubakar-Baku, National President of Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), said that thousands of people and animals were dying daily around the world from rabies, in spite of the fact that such deaths were 100 per cent preventable through vaccines.
According to her, the disease is most critical in developing and resource deficient countries in Asia and Africa, including Nigeria.
She attributed the worsening situation of the disease in those countries to the “lack of a well-structured, resource supported, organised and effective rabies vaccination programme, as well as the low-level of awareness and international collaboration on the disease control efforts”.
She said “as veterinarians, this year’s world celebration reminds us of the need to work toward ending rabies in the next 10 years (2030), through increased awareness in our communities.”