Ebonyi govt confirms 8 rabies cases


The Ebonyi State Government on Wednesday, has confirmed 8 rabies cases in the state, recorded between January and September 2022.

Dr Daniel Umezurike, the Commissioner for Health, gave the figure, during Ebonyi Dog-Mediated Human Rabies Control Programme, an event to mark this year’s World Rabies Day.

The 2022 edition of the event, with theme Rabies ; One Health, Zero Deaths was organized by Ministry of Agricultural and Natural Resources in collaboration with ministry of Health and Environment, Grant and Donor Agency.

Umezurike stated that 5 human contact was line listed, vaccinated and currently under surveillance.

He said that the cases were reported in Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Ishielu, Ohaukwu and Onicha animal health at the local government areas of the state.

He described rabies as a viral infection, spread via saliva, through bite of a rabies animal and direct contact of human fresh skin wounds.

He explained that furious rabies would be hyperactive which may display erratic behavior with symptom of insomnia, excess salivation problem in swallowing while other symptoms take long to set in.

He emphasized that collaboration was key strategy for prevention, dog, human prevention vaccine and awareness of the public would prevent the disease.

“Prevention of rabies can be done by eliminating rabies in dogs through vaccination of dogs, which is the most-cost effective strategy for prevention in people.

“While dog vaccinate reduces deaths attributed to dog-mediated rabies,” Umezurike said.

He urged residents to remain calm and go about the businesses, avoid self medication and report suspected cases.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof Humphery Nwobashi, also corroborated the figure and stated that all the cases had both human and animal contacts.

Nwobashi stated the need to come together, under “one-health” to mitigate the risk of rabies in both humans and animals.

According to him, practices such as mass animal vaccination, vaccination of people who have contact with rabid animals and control of stray dogs would mitigate the risk.

He added that community engagement, human, animal and environmental healthcare workers need pre-exposure prophylaxis of human anti rabies vaccine was fight needed as well to mitigate the trend.

He maintained that the ministry was prepare to collaborate with the mission of one-health, zero-deaths by eliminating dog-medicated rabies.

This years edition is a history making event where ‘one medicine ‘ is demonstrated by authorities and professionals from these ministries.

“We can also be achieved, when we collaborate to fight deadly enemy as team. Though not treatable but vaccine preventable,” Nwobashi said.

On his part, the Commissioner for Environment, Dr Richard Nnabu, cautioned owners of stray dogs to tame them as measures would be taken to prosecute such people.

The State Coordinator , World Health Organisation, Dr Vivian Ibeziako described the theme as critical to the organisation.

Ibeziako explained that the COVID-19 era had shown the important of collaboration with agencies and key partners.

She urged agencies and partners to strengthen collaborations in animal health and other key programmes for good healthcare of the society.

She assured support and collaboration of the organisation to prevent rabies infections in the state.

Similarly the Director, Ebonyi Veterinary Services in the ministry of Agriculture,Dr Ephraim Nwanga, also emphasised the need for reporting cases and team work to get it better.

The journalist reports that the event featured the domestration of pre-exposure prophylaxis of human anti rabies vaccine on veterinary officers by the commissioner for health and administering of vaccine on a dog by Commissioner for Agriculture as well.

The programme also featured, partners such as Breakthrough Action Nigeria, NCDC, rangers, Nigeria Red Cross Society among others.

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