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Arua picked to host World Rabies Day activities

House to house home healthcare in Buliisa. Vaccination of dogs will be stepped up in the next one week ahead of World Rabies Day to be marked in Arua

Uganda rabies cases 2020

● Total cases reported 13,392 (average 99 cases per week)
● Total deaths 266.

Select district figures
Kampala -763
Moroto -487
Masindi -415
Ntungamo -442
Mbarara -464

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries(MAAIF) in conjunction with the Uganda Veterinary Association (UVA) and other stakeholders are organizing World Rabies Day activities in Arua.

The six-day Rabies Day activities will be held at Vurra sub county headquarters and will climax on September 28. This year, World Rabies Day will be celebrated under the theme “Rabies: Facts, Not Fear.”

The Minister of State for Animal Industry Lt.Col Bright Rwamirama confirmed the venue in a press briefing in Kampala.

Uganda Veterinary Association (UVA) secretary Dr Bonifance Obbo hailed the decision and efforts by the ministry to tackle a problem that is widespread across the country, but can be resolved with vaccination of pets.

“UVA thanks MAAIF for spear heading world Rabies day, providing rabies vaccine and vaccination certificate to all Districts in the country. Special thanks goes to Arua District local Government and District veterinary of Arua Dr  Willy Nguma for accepting to host the celebration,” said UVA’s Dr Obbo.

He thanked development partners like FAO, USAID, VSF-G, zoetis, College of Veterinary medicine and Biosecurity, Makerere.

World Rabies Day is a global observance celebrated annually on the 28th of September to raise awareness about rabies and its prevention and to highlight progress in defeating this horrible disease. The commemoration has been spearheaded by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control since 2007.

As part of the celebrations, a number of activities will be undertaken from September 23-28th 2021.

These include vaccination, spaying and castration of (stray) dogs and cats; creation of awareness through brochures, banners, hailing people using loud speakers; and radio as well as television programs. The purpose of all these will be to raise awareness about the prevention and control of rabies countrywide.

Put out of action. A rabid dog that bit 20 people. FILE PHOTO

Activities will emphasize the need to heighten awareness about rabies; and dismiss the fear and myths associated with the disease within the community. The intention is to give assurance that in the fight against rabies, vaccination is still a very important weapon, and the disease is 100% preventable if it (vaccination) can be wholly embraced by all the stakeholders.

The chosen theme therefore, seeks to bring focus on the use of vaccination as the foundation of all rabies control strategies. The Government has and will continue investing resources in it so as to eradicate this zoonotic disease by 2030, a goal that has been agreed upon globally.

“We are encouraging all veterinarians who are unable to go to Arua because of Covid-19 restrictions to carry out activities in their respective District to contribute towards elimination of rabies by 2030,” UVA’s secretary Obbo said.

What you need to know about rabies?

Rabies is a fatal viral disease that affects both humans and animals. 

➡ The victim bitten by an infected animal usually shows signs of the disease after 1-3 months, becomes paralyzed and dies within 7-10 days after showing the signs.
➡ The wild carnivores (such as foxes, jackals and wild dogs) are reservoirs for the disease and can transmit the disease to domestic dogs.
➡ Airborne transmission is also possible under special circumstances such as in laboratories and caves with an extremely high bat density.

✳ The signs in humans include;

•Headache,

•Fear of water, wind and exposure to sunlight,

•Difficulty in swallowing and breathing,

•Seeing and hearing strange things that are non-existent

•Anxiety.

✳ The signs of an animal with rabies include;

•Aggressiveness,

•Chewing strange things (rocks, dirt or wood),

•Excessive salivation, fear of exposure to light,

•Difficulty in swallowing and breathing

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