By Abdullahi Muhammad
Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, has restated the readiness of the FCT Administration to combat rabies disease in the FCT.
He made the disclosure at the flag off of the free anti rabies exercise that took place at the FCT Veterinary clinic.
The event, which held in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the FCT chapter of Nigerian Veterinary Medicine Association (NVMA) and the private sector, took place in Nyanya, as part of activities to mark the 2017 World Rabies Day.
He noted that the Administration through the Agriculture & Rural Development Secretariat has taken delivery of a large consignment of assorted vaccines and will soon commence mass vaccination of animals and other livestock, in order to ensure public health safety of residents.
“Reports from soe hospitals in the FCT has shown an increase in the rabies cases, this situation is worrisome to the Administration and needs to be curtailed,” he said.
The Minister, represented by Secretary Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Nzekwe Stanley Ifeanyichikuwu, posited that the administration recently took certain steps to beef up public health safety pertaining to animal health.
He explained that between now and December, 2017, FCTA will start ‘’massive vaccination’’ of dogs, adding that by early 2018 , vaccination of cattle will kick off.
The free-of-cost element to the programme, is another gesture by FCTA that residents should seize to ensure a rabies-free society, he added,
He assured that soon the veterinary laboratory will be fully equipped to get it off the ground and functional.
He appreciated NVMA, all veterinary doctors, the private sector and other stakeholders for cooperating with FCTA in service delivery, stressing that without the group, the job of keeping FCT free of animal diseases will not be possible.
Responding, Hon. Ifeanyichukwu disclosed that about 4000 dogs had been registered and vaccinated since the last exercise.
He urged residents to shun quack veterinary practitioners, and also advised all homesteads in FCT to take seriously the issue of animal vaccination, stressing that FCTA is insistent on delivering wholesome meat to residents and visitors in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s change agenda of elevating public welfare to international best standards.
“Patrons of such persons run the gauntlet of being given adulterated drugs or those which timing is wrong or replete with several life-threatening inadequacies,” he added.
Also speaking to newsmen, the Deputy Director/Head of Animal Health and Clinical Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, who represented his ministry, and chairman, FCT chapter, NVMA, Dr Fadipe Oladotun, lauded the FCT minister for priority given to animal health and public health safety.