By Leah Gitau
Rabies being a viral disease that causes inflammation to the brain to humans ought to be treated with a lot of precaution. Once one is bitten and not treated at early stages, it can easily lead to death.
The ongoing disease control and dogs’ vaccination program worldwide have decreased the risk of rabies from dogs in regions around the world. Dogs owners are becoming more aware of the dangerous disease and due to the ongoing campaigns, that have started to eliminate the disease. For instance, World animal Protection has an ongoing campaign dubbed ‘better lives for dogs’ which main aim is to eliminate rabies by vaccinating all dogs. Currently the initiative is in Makueni and it will soon spread to other counties.
Rabies Education and awareness in schools
World animal protection has also taken the rabies eradication training to schools at county level. They have taken the mandate to train pupils in schools about the dangers of rabies. This is driven by the recent studies that most people bitten by dogs are between the ages of 5-15 years, so this education is very vital. They are trained not to fear dogs and how to become dog friendly. Moreover, they are also educated on to treat dog bites but above all, the importance of vaccinating their dogs.
Government strategy to eliminate rabies
The majority of deaths that occur from rabies are in Africa and Asia. In 2015, the Kenyan government launched a strategic plan towards the eradication of rabies, and make Kenya a rabies free country by 2030. Itb has been estimated to kill over 2000 people in Kenya annually. For the first time in Kenya, the world rabies day was celebrated and this has contributed greatly in creating awareness. Rabies eradication can only be achieved through mass action and concerted action by the government to provide dog and human vaccines. When you fail to prevent it, it becomes a public health failure.