Health Alert! Rabies cases increase as vaccines run out

Dog  BiteThe Veterinary Service of Ghana has warned of more rabies related deaths, as it records acute shortage of dog vaccines.

A total of 890 dog bite cases were recorded by the Veterinary Services in the last quarter of 2014.

120 of the total cases were as a result of stray dogs. There are fears the number of cases could increase this year as the number of stray dogs continue to increase on the streets of Accra and other parts of the country.

The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has also recorded an increase in rabies related deaths.

Director of Public Health at the Veterinary Service, Dr. Boi Bashiru Kikimoto told Morning Starr host Kafui Dey, Tuesday, that city authorities must collaborate with them to arrest stray dogs to avoid the spread of rabies.

“I would appeal to Ghanaians that you should report first any dog bite case, whether it has an owner or not. From my office, we have never had any positive case for the last quarter…and this is not peculiar to Accra alone.

“Last year we had 17 human deaths in Ghana, four from Upper East, two from Ashanti, there was a boy who died in Assin Fosu, three were reported to be from Korle Bu, one died from Obuasi and other regions,” Dr. Kikimoto said.

He added that “the vaccines are not harmful to human beings; I have taken anti rabies vaccines even though I have not been bitten by a dog and that’s because once you take it, you are protected from any dog bite wound”.