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FCTA Begins Mass Vaccination Of Dogs, Cats In Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat has renewed its commitment to eradicating the transmission and spread of dog and cat-mediated rabies infections.

Commemorating the 2022 World Rabies Day on Wednesday in Abuja, the mandate secretary for the secretariat, Abubakar Ibrahim, said the risks of transmission and spread of the dog and cat disease in the FCT were very high being a cosmopolitan city, with a fast-growing human and animal population.

He said the FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Aliyu, had approved the commencement of a free vaccination through the length and breadth of the FCT.

The mandate secretary said that veterinary doctors and animal health workers in the secretariat had already been mobilised to ensure the success of the exercise.

He said the FCT administration’s target was to embark on a five-year annual vaccination campaign against the dreaded zoonotic disease that was a menace in Nigeria and the world over.

“I will like to call on dog and cat owners in the FCT to take advantage of this exercise which will be going on simultaneously in the six area councils of the FCT for the next four weeks, to vaccinate their animals and pets for their safety.

“This will help in improving the general health and well-being of the FCT populace,” he said.

Mr Ibrahim said records showed that about 55,000 persons in Nigeria die annually from dog and cat-mediated rabies infections.

According to him, though cats and other wild animals are major carriers of the disease, dogs account for over 99 per cent of recorded infections.

“More worrisome to health practitioners is the fact that the fatality rate of the disease ranks amongst the deadliest zoonotic diseases because once a rabies infection is established, there is no effective cure, and the risk of transmission is very high,” he said.

Mr Ibrahim said the secretariat carries out regular anti-rabies vaccination across the nooks and crannies of the FCT.

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

The mandate secretary expressed optimism that providing 47,000 doses of vaccines and other materials by the ministry would go a long way in helping the FCT eradicate the dreaded disease.

He said it would also ensure the attainment of the WHO target of “zero human rabies deaths by 2030”.

Earlier, the director, veterinary services at the secretariat, Regina Adulugba, said the administration was committed to achieving zero records of the virus in the territory hence the extension of the exercise to the neighbouring state of Nasarawa.

She lamented the challenge stray dogs posed to achieving the administration’s goals, saying that ending their menace in the streets of FCT was key to eliminating rabies.

 

(NAN)

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