3rd October, 2022
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Veterinarians have called on Governor Nyesom Wike to ban the sale of dog meat along the streets of Rivers State to curtail the spread of rabies.
Dr Godwin Ukoikpoko, the Director of Veterinary Services in Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture made the appeal during events marking the 2022 World Rabies Day in Port Harcourt.
He cautioned that the continued sale of dog meat along the streets will increase the rate of rabies in the State since the health status of such dogs cannot be ascertained.
On her part, the National President of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Mrs Catherine Olutoyin Adetubure, called on the Federal Ministry of Health to make anti-rabies vaccines available to hospitals and all state health centres to enable doctors have access to them to prevent the spread of rabies.
She also stated that the theme of this year’s celebration which is; “One Heath, zero death”, was carefully chosen and called for synergy between Medical Practitioners and Veterinary doctors to “chase out zonotic disease from the society”.
Former Vice Chancellor of Rivers State University, a Professor Bariname. B. Fakae, who delivered the keynote address at the event called on the state government to employ more veterinary doctors to address public health challenges in the state.
He noted that only two Veterinary doctors are in the employ of the state government
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, Rivers State Chapter, Dr Baloji Ajayi, urged those bitten by dogs to seek medical attention urgently because of the fatality of rabies infection.
The highlight of the occasion was free vaccination of dogs and other animals.
The occasion was organised by the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture in Port Harcourt.