The Ogun State Government in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has rolled out 6,000 doses of anti-rabies vaccine, in a bid to prevent transmission of the deadly disease from animal to human and eradicate it totally by 2030.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, revealed this during the flag-off of the free anti-rabies vaccination exercise meant to immunise dogs at the Veterinary Hospital Complex, Ita-Eko, Abeokuta.
Odedina said the initiative was in line with the agricultural agenda of the State government towards ensuring adequate hygiene, as well as general wellbeing of citizens, adding that the importance of dogs in various aspects of life makes it pertinent to ensure the animals are in good health condition.
He stated that the vaccination would be replicated in all the 20 Local Government Areas of the State, enjoining dog owners to embrace the programme, saying, “this is to create awareness and tell everyone that we don’t only care about food production, we are here to ensure care for dogs and other animals. There is no discrimination here, bring out your hunting dogs and all other species to be vaccinated”.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Dotun Sorunke stated that the best management of the disease is preventive care, which was the sole aim of government in initiating the vaccination exercise of not less than 6,000 dogs across the State.
Welcoming guests to the event earlier, Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Taiwo Jolaoso, applauded the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, for facilitating the exercise at no cost, assuring that the vaccination would reach rural communities being the most vulnerable to the disease.
In her goodwill message, a Professor of Veterinary Public Health, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof. Morenike Dipeolu, lauded government for taking the right steps in the prevention of human infection with the rabies disease, saying the prevalence and incidence rate of the disease could only be reduced through vaccination.
Speaking on behalf of other participants, Chief Michael Bamgbose commended the government for the free vaccination, describing it as a helpful intervention that would protect both the dogs and humans from rabies attack.