By Regina Benneh/Sarah Ankamah-Yeboah, GNA
Sunyani, Jan. 30, GNA - Dr Saviour Denueme, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Veterinary Officer, has called on public to treat all dog bite cases as an emergency situation.
He said persons bitten by dogs needed to be given post exposure vaccine and the dogs be monitored by the veterinary officers for two weeks to find out if they(dogs) had rabies, and to decide whether the vaccination would be continued in a qualified health facility or not.
Dr Denueme said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani.
He said rabies cases have been reduced drastically for the past two years with zero cases reported in 2018 as against nine cases in 2017 with one death.
Dr Denueme said the situation has improved due to the office’s routine vaccination and education on the dangers of the rabies virus in some of the endemic areas like Nkoranza, Kyeremasu and Wamfie in the region.
He said apathy on the part of pets’ keepers, especially owners of dogs and cats has impeded efforts of the veterinary officers since many of them were not willing to vaccinate the animals in order to avoid the payment of the GHC10.00 vaccination fee.
Dr Denueme said the situation needed a concerted effort to ensure that all pet keepers in the communities would vaccinate the animals on schedule.
This Regional Veterinary Officer said it was because of the closeness of pets to humans that their diseases could be easily transferred to humans.
He called for punitive laws to hold pet owners who fail to vaccinate their pets.
Dr Denueme said quack veterinary officers, stray dogs and shortage of staff were some of the major challenges that were hindering the Service’s effort in fighting rabies in the region.
He urged the public to demand identification cards to verify the credibility of people who approach them to vaccinate their animals, saying that fake veterinary officers must immediately be reported to the Police for arrest and prosecution.
Dr Denueme said his office has intensified its education drive to deal with the menace of stray animals adding that rabies and anthrax are very dangerous diseases and could easily cost a victim his life.
He appealed to the Environmental Health Department to arrest, confine and kill stray dogs and other animals in the communities, especially in the endemic areas, to prevent the spread of rabbis and other diseases
Dr Denueme advised the populace to desist from the consumption of dead animals but rather take whatever carcase to any nearby veterinary office for examination to know the disease that killed the animal.