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Sironko district embarks on mass vaccination against rabies

FILE PHOTO: Mass vaccination is going to be done to fight against rabies

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Sironko district in partnership with Animal Welfare and Protection Organization, a non-governmental that focuses on the protection of animals has embarked on a free mass vaccination against rabies across the district.

Sironko district has registered over 98 cases of rabies since this year begun. Alfred Chepukurui, the Sironko District Veterinary Officer, says 90% of dogs and cats in the district are not vaccinated.

Wanderema Wesongo, the Director Animal Welfare and Protection Organization, says they partnered with the district early this month to start mass vaccination of all dogs and cats with the aim of reducing on the spread of rabies.

He says they decided to offer free vaccination services because some farmers can’t afford the vaccines.

James Gibiri and Denis Wajala, both farmers in Sironko district, say they spend lots of money to get their animals and birds vaccinated. Rabies is caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system particularly causing inflammation in the brain.

The virus is transmitted to humans via bites and scratches from infected animals.  The first symptoms of rabies may be general body weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache, biting objects and running mad among others.

According to the World Health Organization-WHO, up to 59,000 people worldwide die from rabies every year. 99 percent of them are bitten by rabid dog domestic dogs, cats, and rabbits and wild animals such as skunks, raccoons and bats.

On Friday last week, Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate the world free rabies day under the theme “kicking rabies out of the world by 2030”.

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