At least 851 dogs and cats in Amuru district have been vaccinated against rabies, thanks to Big Fix Uganda, an animal rights body. Statistics from the Animals` rights` body and treatment center show that the mass vaccination took place in Pabbo Town Council (507) and Jeng Gari village (344).
Francis Okello, the Project Manager for the Animals` Program at the Big Fix Uganda told URN that they conducted the free mass vaccination drive throughout Tuesday to commemorate World Rabies day. He disclosed that the organization considered taking the animal vaccination exercise closer to the people in the rural areas of Amuru who can hardly access urban centers.
According to Okello, they also dewormed and castrated hundreds of pets during the same drive. He says that the campaign followed increasing cases of dog bites reported to their offices yet only a few of the animals involved in such cases are vaccinated.
Statistics from Big Fix Uganda in Gulu City show that twenty-six cases of dog bites were reported this year against 31 recorded last year. Charles Oryem Obete, a resident of Kal B Cell in Pabbo Town Council, who benefited from the exercise expressed joy, saying that he has all along wanted to vaccinate his dog but could not afford the Shillings 30,000 required.
Richard Okumu, the Pabbo Town Council LC III Chairperson, says that such initiatives are very crucial in saving victims of dog and cat bites who may not be able to access better medical services.
This year`s rabies day was commemorated under the theme, ‘’Rabies: Facts, Not Fear’’.
The day is celebrated on September 28th annually to raise awareness about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in defeating this horrifying disease. The deadly virus spreads to people from the saliva of infected animals through the bite of animals like dogs, cats and bats among others.
It presents with fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion. Once symptoms appear, it`s nearly fatal yet it has no specific treatment and can only be prevented through vaccination.