Eight people have died from rabies in the Ashanti Region within the first half of the year.
Three districts; Bosomtwe, Kwabre East and Asante Akim South, have been the hardest hit with the outbreak of the rabies.
“We’ve realised that the number of rabies cases we are getting in the region is going up. Within the half year we’ve recorded eight cases and all the eight have died.
“This means the dogs are not vaccinated,” Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang, Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, stated in an interview.
He, therefore, stressed the need for mass vaccination of dogs in the region.
Dr Mabel Abudu, Ashanti Regional Veterinary Officer, noted, that “the government is not able to supply the Veterinary Services with the needed funds for us to carry out mass vaccination.”
She was worried about the inability of some persons to adequately cater for their pets, saying “some individuals who own pets don’t take care of them. ‘They just go in for them without providing them proper feeding and vaccination. Once dogs are reservoirs of rabies, naturally it comes out”.
Dr Budu called for strict enforcement of bye-laws, saying, “it is about time bye-laws in the District Assemblies were enforced for pet owners to vaccinate and take proper care of them.”
“By our mandate as Veterinary Services, we are supposed to carry out mass vaccination yearly, but for some time now this has not been done,”she lamented.
Dr Badu said the Regional Veterinary Services Division, she noted, lacked funds to embark on yearly mass vaccination for dogs, which is the cause for rising cases of rabies and its associated death.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE,KUMASI