By Joy Akinsanya
Ogun Government has secured 6,000 doses of rabies vaccine for dogs and cats to prevent and eradicate rabies across communities in the state.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, said during the launch of free rabies vaccination campaign on Friday in Abeokuta, that the programme was organised in collaboration with the Federal Government.
He said the state Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in partnership with the Federal Government, was determined to eradicate rabies by 2030.
Odedina said the initiative was in line with the agenda of the state government toward ensuring adequate hygiene and general wellbeing of citizens.
He said that the importance of dogs in various aspects of life made it pertinent to ensure they would be in good condition.
He said that the vaccination would be replicated in all the 20 local government areas of the state.
He urged dog owners to embrace the programme.
”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,” he said.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Dotun Sorunke, said that the best management for rabies was prevention.
”This is the sole aim of government in initiating the vaccination of not less than 6,000 dogs across the state,” he said.
Sorunke said that the vaccines would give immunity for 12 month, and that a certificate would be issued after vaccination of any dog.
The state Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Taiwo Jolaoso, applauded Gov. Dapo Abiodun for facilitating the exercise at no cost to beneficiaries.
He gave the assurance that the vaccination would get to rural communities – the most vulnerable to the disease.
In a goodwill message, Morenike Dipeolu, a Professor of Veterinary Public Health, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, lauded the state government for taking steps to prevent infections.
”The prevalence of the disease can only be reduced through vaccination,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Mr Michael Bamgbose, the Seriki Ode of Egba land, commended the government for the free vaccination.
He described it as an intervention that would protect both dogs and humans from rabies attack. (NAN)