FCTA Steps Up Campaign To End Spread Of Rabies Infection

As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark 2022 World Rabies Day, authority of the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has renewed it commitment towards eradication of the transmission and spread of dog and cat mediated rabies infections.

The Mandate Secretary, Agric and Rural Development Secretariat of the FCT, Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, gave the assurance at the commemoration of the 2022 World Rabies Day, held at Nyanya Veterinary Clinic, Abuja.

September 28 of every year is set aside by the W.H.O to not only to raise awareness about rabies disease, but demonstrate practical commitments and actions by nations towards the prevention, control and eradication of the disease.

Speaking on the theme of this year, One Health Zero Death, the Secretary, Agric and Rural Development Secretariat explained that the risks of transmission and spread of the dog and cat disease in the FCT was very high being a cosmopolitan city, with a fast growing human and animal population.

The secretary also disclosed that the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu had approved the commencement of a free vaccination exercise through the length and breadth of the FCT.

Ibrahim added that already, Veterinary Doctors and Animal Health workers of the Secretariat have already been mobilized to ensure the success of the exercise.

He said that the target of the FCT Administration was to embark on a five year annual vaccination campaign against the dreaded zoonotic disease that was a menace not only in Nigeria but the world over.

Ibrahim said that the theme of this year’s event which is, “One Health Zero Deaths”is apt considering the rising cases of rabies infection that are reported globally.

The secretary revealed that records have shown that Nigeria has about 55,000 people who die annually from dog and cat mediated rabies infections.

Ibrahim explained that even though cats and other wild animals are major carriers of the disease, dogs account for over 99 per cent of recorded infections.

He stated that the secretariat carried out periodic anti rabies vaccination exercise across the nooks and crannies of the FCT.

He appreciated the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association, Nigeria Veterinary Research Institute, and others for their relentless support over the years in the fight against the disease.

Ibrahim expressed optimism that the provision of 47,000 doses of vaccines and other materials by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would go a long way in helping the FCT to eradicating the dreaded disease.

This, according to him, will ensure the attainment of the declaration of the World Health Organization target of achieving “zero human rabies deaths by 2030.”

Earlier, the Director, Veterinary Services at the secretariat, Dr Regina Adulugba said the administration was committed to achieve a zero record of the virus in the territory hence the extension of the exercise to neighbouring states state of Nasarawa.

While lamenting the challenge stray dogs pose to achieving the administration goals, she stressed that ending the menace of stray dogs in the streets of FCT is key to eliminating rabies.

She further appealed to pet owners to take advantage of the exercise and ensure that their pets are vaccinated to prevent the spread of the virus.

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