Cases of rabies high in Kisii

At least 10 cases of rabies are reported at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (KTRH) daily.

Speaking at Nyamarambe stadium during national rabies day celebrations, Kisii County Executive Committee (CEC) member in charge of Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperative Development Esman Onsarigo regretted that about 300 people are beaten by dogs in the county.

“Other domestic animals are equally bitten by the same dogs. The bitten cases if not vaccinated against rabies normally develop the active form of the disease and usually the consequences are 100 per cent fatal,” said the CEC.

The CEC noted that rabies, a very fatal disease affecting both animals and humans can be prevented if dogs and cats are vaccinated as recommended.

He said the population of dogs and cats in Kisii County which are known to be principal transmitters of this disease, is approximately 25,000 adding that most of these animals are not confined and they are left to fend for themselves.

“The roaming of dogs and cats in Kisii town and other market places, is a menace and a health risk of spreading rabies disease to both man and animals in this region.,” said Onsarigo.

The CEC said the County government usually conducts routine vaccination of pets and cattle in all the 45 wards across the county at subsidized prices.

“The routine vaccination has prevented major disease outbreaks in the County. We are fully aware of the fatality of this disease and the county government has allocated funds towards animal disease control,” he said.

The CEC said the Kisii county government has always used both curative and preventive medicine practice to scale down the occurrence of zoonotic and notifiable diseases through creation of public awareness, barazas and extension services.

According to the national Deputy Director Veterinary Services Hesbon Awanda, it is estimated that between 300-1000 human deaths are reported in Kenya annually.

“Unfortunately, we have poor surveillance systems in the country,’ said Awanda.

He said, the country through the department of veterinary services has employed many strategies towards elimination of the disease through vaccination, public health education awareness on rabies, enhanced surveillance for rabies in humans and animals and advocacy, communication and social mobilization.