FCTA begins free vaccination exercise over rabies outbreak

The Veterinary Services 

Department of the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat has embarked on free vaccination exercise for dogs and cats in the territory.

The Director Veterinary Services Department of the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Dr. Mrs. Regina Adulugba, disclosed this while addressing Veterinary officers of the Secretariat at the start of the exercise at the FCT Veterinary clinic in Nyanya, Abuja.

According to her, there have been upsurge of rabies outbreak in the FCT in the recent times and that the secretariat is in addition to the daily routine clinical vaccination exercise embarking on a campaign to sensitize FCT residents on the importance of vaccinating their animals. 

She cautioned residents to be cautious as the disease is highly fatal and is impossible to cure once the disease begins to manifest.

 “I am calling on all residents not just dog and cat owners to be cautious because as at the moment, there has not been any confirmed cure for the disease. It is important to note also that not just dogs, even cats can be carriers of the rabies virus so our best bet is to annually vaccinate these animals”.

Speaking further on the Mambilla Barracks incidence, where a rabied dog attacked a baby, she said the Secretariat took samples from the dog which it sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute, NVRI (Vom) which tested positive for the virus. She urged residents to ensure that they confine their pets especially dogs to minimize the risk of attacks. “Even the saliva from an infected pet can be dangerous so it is important to take caution.”

The Director however revealed that the Secretariat has procured enough vaccines and other necessary inputs to carry out the exercise free of charge as directed between now and December 2019.

 “We have fully mobilized all our Veterinary doctors and other health workers and we will be taking the campaign to all the 6 Area Councils of the FCT to offer the free vaccines. I therefore call on pet owners to take advantage of the window to vaccinate their animals.”

She warned the officers against unprofessional conducts as a team has been put in place to monitor their activities. 

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