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Rabiesvacc2

Nairobi City County conducts free mass anti rabies vaccination drive.

Nairobi, 16th March 2024

A total of 726 dogs, 84 cats and 185 donkeys in Nairobi were vaccinated against rabies and issued with vaccination certificates during free mass vaccination exercise conducted by the Nairobi County Veterinary Services Directorate in partnership with animal welfare organizations namely; Brooke, Network for Animals and Kenya Network for Dissemination of Agricultural  Technologies( KENDAT).

The exercise which was rolled out on Wednesday up to Friday took place in Muhuri Muchiri stadium,Kamulu,Chokaa Kamuyonge, Athi,Stage 26, Kayole, Mihang’o and Njiru, in Kasarani, Embakasi East and Embakasi Central Sub Counties. The initiave aimed at curbing rabies in the City County.
Rabiesvacc4 “Rabies is a killer disease of humans and warm blooded animals. It loads heavy burden on the society through human and animal morbidity and mortality, as well as heavy medical care costs for animal bite victims. It is a viral disease that is transmitted from infected animal to other warm blooded animals and humans through bites and scratches, mainly through saliva. The disease attacks the brain and once symptoms appear it becomes fatal.” Said Nairobi County Director Veterinary Services, Doctor Joseph Kabatha .

Doctor Kabatha confirmed  that the number of persons attended to in County managed hospitals with bite wounds largely by dogs is 5000 per year of which around 1000 are children under the 5 years. He said the actual number could be more since cases reported in national and private hospitals is not included in the figures.
Rabiesvacc8He however explained that the disease is preventable as it can be managed through vaccination which cuts the transmission cycle. He added that it is way much cheaper to prevent rabies through vaccination than treating human rabies.

“We encourage dog, cat and donkey owners to ensure their animals are promptly vaccinated against the deadly rabies virus. We also encourage residents of Nairobi to always take advantage of free mass vaccinations carried out by the County of Nairobi and other animal welfare organizations in order to minimize and eradicate the disease.” Doctor Kabatha added.

Rabies symptoms include fever, headache, muscle spasm, excess salivation and mental confusion followed by coma and finally death within 14 days after contracting the virus.

According to the World Health Organization’s estimates, one person dies from human rabies every nine minutes with 40 per cent of rabies victims being children under the age of 15 years.
Rabiesvacc6Doctor Kabatha said that the County Government has put in place measures of dog mediated rabies elimination, such as empowerment of Nairobi residents through public health education, an active rabies surveillance protocol, public health education on rabies and dog control and mass vaccinations. Plans to establish Nairobi Urban dog ecology and epidemiology of urban rabies are also underway.

As part of rabies preventive and elimination measures, the Directorate of Veterinary Services also conducts weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual surveillances throughout the county for timely reporting of any rabies occurrences. Additionally, the department empowers members of public on rabies and dog control knowledge in collaboration with animal welfare partners.

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