The County Government of Siaya has launched mass vaccination of dogs and livestock to tame the possible spread of rabies and lumpy skin desease among the animals respectively.
The launched officiated by Siaya Deputy Governor H. E. Dr. James Okumbe at Uhembo in Usonga ward, on Friday, saw hundreds of dogs and livestock vaccinated against the twin diseases.
The Government has secured vaccines worth KShs. 3.5 million that will see more than 20,000 animals in the entire county receiving the vaccination jab as a way of guarding against the spread of the lumpy skin disease and rabies from animals to humans.
“The county administration has partnered with National Government through KENTTEC in conducting the exercise at zero cost” said Dr. Okumbe during the launch. The Deputy Governor added that the vaccines have been procured by the County Government of Siaya while KENTTEC donated spraying pumps and acaricides worth KShs. 14,000.00 and KShs. 4,500.00 respectively.
The vaccination is being rolled out in the entire County and will be conducted for a period of four weeks according to the Agriculture Executive Dr. Elizabeth Odhiambo who also noted that some two animals have been lost to the diseases in Sirembe, Gem Sub-County so far.
Dr. Odhiambo, in her remarks during the launch, also said that cases of rabies outbreak in the county were minimal but added that the vaccinations would continue to be administered annually until such a time the diseases will be completely eradicated.
“Normally, the domestic dog is the one that transmits the disease to humans, so if we can attain 100 percent vaccination of the dogs, then we can eradicate the dog mediated rabies,” Dr. Odhiambo noted.
According to World Health Organization, about 2,000 people die of rabies in Kenya every year. Children under the age of 15 and communities in remote rural areas are at the highest risk. The disease is transmitted through the saliva of infected mammals, usually through a bite. Once contracted, it has almost 100 percent fatality rate in humans.
The county is keen on eradicating the disease and progress to zero human deaths from dog mediated rabies by the year 2030 as per the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations,” Dr. Odhiambo added.
Agriculture Chief Officer Mr. Charles Siso, in his remarks, noted that the lumpy skin desease that affected livestock at Udenda Sublocation in West Alego ward also prompted the department to roll out mass vaccination of livestock apart from the Gem incidences.