Elitta Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
Six people have died of rabies and 17 231 cases of dog bites recorded since January, according to latest statistics from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.At least 434 cases of dog bites were reported during last week with the status of 363 dogs unknown while 71 cases were inflicted by vaccinated dogs.
Meanwhile, the division of Veterinary Field Services is carrying out rabies vaccination in Harare. DVFS official, Dr Kramer Manyetu said the vaccination campaign which started last week has received an overwhelming response from Harare residents.
He said the department was targeting to vaccinate 6 000 dogs in Harare during the exercise.
“So far the target looks achievable if rains do not come early. We have covered Zimre Park, Mabvuku, Tafara, Chisipite, Highlands, Greendale with 719 dogs vaccinated.
“The highest turnout was in Mabvuku with 220 dogs, followed by Tafara with 199 dogs,’’ he said.
Dr Manyetu said the division also vaccinated dogs in Msasa, Hatfield and Epworth and so far a total of 1 707 dogs were vaccinated in two days.
The vaccination programme should have been carried out in August but was delayed because the rabies vaccine was out of stock.
“Residents are finding it difficult to handle and bring their cats for vaccinations as most of them do not have cat boxes,” he said.
Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals mostly transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.
The disease usually affects dogs, cats, cattle and hyenas, among other animals.