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06.05.2004 Regional News

East Akim District launches anti-rabies campaign

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Nkronso (E/R), May 6, GNA - A one-month anti-rabies campaign in the East Akim District was launched at Nkronso on Wednesday.

The Nkronso community was chosen for the district launching because last month, a 32-year-old mother, Afuah Densua, who was bitten by a dog five months ago, contracted the disease and died leaving behind her two sets of twins and a seven-month-old baby.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, the District Chief Executive, Mr Emmanuel Victor Asihene, reminded the people that it is an offence to allow their domestic animals to stray to public places including sources of water and farms.

He said the Town Councils had been mandated by the District Assembly to arrest domestic animals that stray to public places and to enforce the appropriate sanction on the owners of such animals and therefore appealed to the people to keep their domestic animals at home. Mr Asihene urged them to take advantage of the anti-rabies campaign to vaccinate all their dogs and cats to save their pets and people in the community from contracting the disease, saying infected animals could bite even their owners.

Dr Joseph Bogee, the District Director of Food and Agriculture, said rabies is a natural disease of dogs, monkeys and some wild animals but other warm- blooded animals could also contract it.

He explained that human beings are infected by the disease through bites and scratches by an infected animal, saying after the bite, it could take between 15 days to a few months for the disease to develop and in some cases, before the clinical signs may show.

Dr Bogee said once the clinical signs begin to show, it is always fatal and the affected person could die.

He said for the above reason, once a suspected carrier bites a person, the person must receive an immediate course of vaccination and anti-rabies serum.

Dr Bogee said during the one month campaign, he and his team would visit all the major towns and communities in the district to vaccinate dogs, cats and monkeys and after that, any pets which were not vaccinated, when found, would be killed as prescribed by law.