The Lagos State Government will commence a two-week free mass anti-rabies vaccination campaign to curb the menace of rabies in the state.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, said this on Sunday in Lagos.
Olusanya said that the vaccination campaign was aimed at promoting awareness of rabies among dogs and cats in the state.
She said the programme would be commenced at the Oba Ayangburen’s Palace in Ikorodu area of the state on Feb. 16.
Olusanya said rabies are a deadly disease mostly transmitted to humans through infected dog bites which can result in fatalities if not treated early.
The commissioner noted that the need for the campaign arose as a result of the increase in reported cases of canine rabies across the state.
She said 6,250 vaccines would be administered to dogs and cats that are made available at any of the government veterinary clinics in the five divisions of the state including Badagry, Surulere, Ajah, Ikorodu, and Agege, among others.
“Rabies are one of the oldest communicable under-reported zoonotic diseases. Dogs are responsible for 98 per cent of fatality in humans.
“Annually, hundreds of human deaths are recorded globally, despite the fact that rabies are preventable through vaccination, public awareness, and responsible ownership.
“ A total of 6,250 vaccines donated by the World Organisation for Animal Health through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Veterinary Services, will be administered during the campaign.
“The commencement programme takes place at the Oba Ayangburen’s Palace, Ikorodu on Feb. 16,” Olusanya said.
The commissioner noted that rabies are most common in countries where stray dogs are present in large numbers especially in Asia and Africa and could be contracted if the saliva from an infected animal gets into an open wound or through the eyes or mouth of a human being.
Olusanya explained that rabies were a fatal disease that causes up to 59,000 deaths globally every year and must be treated with all the seriousness it deserved to curtail spread.
She also said that a concerted effort must be made to control the stray dog population in the urban and rural areas for a significant reduction in the incidence of human and canine rabies in the state.
The commissioner, therefore, urged all dog owners to bring their dogs for vaccination at the designated veterinary clinics in the state.
She further urged them to ensure that they are up to date on vaccination procedure as that is the only way to prevent human beings from getting infected.