Olanrewaju Lawal,Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abaubakar Atiku-Bagudu has canvassed for connective efforts by the stakeholders to fight the menace of rabies disease in Nigeria by 2030.
Bagudu stated this on Monday while speaking at the 2020 World Rabies Day organised by Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) held in Birnin Kebbi with the theme; “End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate.”
The Governor observed that stakeholders’ collaboration was critical to effective fight against the disease to make Nigeria free of rabies and challenged research scientists in the country to exploring local solution instead of waiting for solution from elsewhere.
According to him, it is proven that rabies is diseases that transfer from animals to man, hence the need for caution with in dealing with such animals.
He advised that people must appreciate the fact that animal life was very important as man’s life.
While lamenting that the population of dogs in the state put at below 40,000 was too low, the governor urged dog owners to ensure frequent vaccination to effectively tackle the disease.
In her speech, the President, Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), Dr A’ishatu Abubakar-Baju appreciated Kebbi State Government for its resolve to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to eradicate rabies by 2030.
She lamented that despite the fact that rabies diseases was 100 per cent vaccine-preventable disease, yet, thousands of people and animals die from the disease around the world daily.
The President said: “This is most critical in developing and resource-deficient country in Asia and Africa including Nigeria.
“Part of this sad global situation stems from lack of well-structured, resource-supported, organised and effective rabies vaccination programme in these countries as well as low level of awareness and international collaboration on the diseased control efforts.
“Even the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) project, an international intervention aimed at eliminating human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030, seems to have lost “steam” and may not be achievable after all.
“Precautions and frightening as the situation may be, hope is not lost with the full participation of all stakeholders.”
Presenting a Lead Paper, Prof. Asabe Dzikwi of University of Jos said once clinical rabies “is confirmed, there is no cure but is 100 per cent preventable.”
She attributed the disease to common domestic animals, lamenting that about 50,000 to 70,000 people die of the disease annually in Nigeria, adding that 1,637 cases were being recorded annually in Nigeria.
Dzikwi explained that “rabies is real. When dog bites you, it goes straight to the brain through the blood and from the brain it goes to other parts of the body.
“We need coordinated and systematic approach to effectively control rabies in Nigeria. We need constant education, enlightenment, mass media engagement and collaboration with social scientists,” she said.
In his remark, the state Commissioner of Animal Health, Husbandry and Fisheries, Alhaji Aminu Dandiga, disclosed that the state has vaccinated over 17,200 dogs against rabies disease out 40,000 dog population in the state.
He said there were 87 human involvement and 79 persons had received post exposure prophylaxis in 2019.
Acvording to him, " the Kebbi state has an estimation of over 40,000 dog population out of which 43 per cent had been vaccinated and there were 87 human involvement and 79 persons had received post exposure prophylaxis in 2019," Dandiga said.