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Vaccine drive targets dogs, domestic cats

By Christine Gatuka
Dr. Emily Mudoga, Animal in Community Campaign Manager at WAP (in the cap) vaccinates a dog to prevent rabies.

 

Over 25,000 dogs and cats are set to be vaccinated against Rabies in Laikipia County in the next six weeks. The Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign is intended to eliminate rabies in the county.

It’s estimated 2,000 people die in Kenya every year as a result of canine rabies where most of the cases reported by World Health Organisation in the developing countries are as a result of bites by infected domestic dog.

The exercise that is being coordinated by Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia County government, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, and Veterinarians International kicked off at Lekiji village in Laikipia North where 50 animals were vaccinated.

“We intend to vaccine 70 percent of the dog population in this region by the end of the exercise,” said Dedan Ngatia, a co-founder of the campaign.

Since the inception of the exercise four years ago, Ngatia said the numbers have been increasing from 800 in 2015 to 15, 000 dogs and domestic cats in 2018. Dickson Mulei, a veterinarian said the viral disease affects all animals except birds and vaccinating dogs was the best way of controlling its spread.

Village elder Lesian Ole Shembele praised the exercise noting they have stayed safe from the disease following the numerous vaccinations conducted in the area

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