The Ministry of Food and Agriculture together with the Ghana Health Service and other development partners launched the National Rabies Prevention Campaign in Accra on the theme” Prevent the Bite or Scratch! Vaccinate your Dog! Stop Rabies Now!”
The Programme aimed at raising awareness on rabies, its prevention, and ways to mitigate the risk of exposure.
In a speech on behalf of Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Service, Dr. Franklin Aseidu Bekoe, Director for the Public Health Division stated that rabies is a life and death issue and must be taken seriously. He added that rabies is a leading preventable death with 153 cases leading to 10 deaths in 2023 so far.
He urged all persons with pets to get them vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities from rabies.
A representative of the veterinary services, Dr. Mickey Aryee in his speech suggested that the global per cent financial resources, which was being used to treat people bitten by potential rabid dogs, could be efficiently diverted into a sustained aggressive free mass vaccination campaign. He said this could be achieved progressively over a five year persistent vaccination period within two months of a given year.
The Municipal Chief Executive of the La Nkwatanang Madina Municipal Assembly, Jennifer Dede Adjabeng, said the Assembly would continue to intensify by-laws on dogs. She added that the Assembly impounded stray dogs and kept them for 14 days.
She urged all pet owners to get their pets vaccinated if not they would be charged with a fine of up to 250 penalty units determined by prosecution or three months imprisonment.