Karamoja on rabies alert as hospitals run out of vaccines
Posted Tuesday, January 15 2013 at 02:00
Residents, who have dogs in their homes, have been advised to routinely take them for vaccination.
Residents of Karamoja Sub-region are in panic following a reported shortage of rabies vaccine. A survey conducted by the Daily Monitor found out that most of the hospitals and health centres in Karamoja do not have vaccines for the viral disease.
Dr Micheal Ebele Omeke, the Moroto District health director, said previous delivery of drugs by the National Medical Stores (NMS) did not include a consignment for anti-rabies.
He said patients were now being referred to Kotido District, a distance of 109 kilometres away.
Dr Jimmy Lemukol, the district health director of Napak, said shortage of rabies medicines would leave the region -which has a large number of dogs - vulnerable.
Rabies is a viral disease that can be transmitted from dogs to humans through bites from an infected animal.
It can be fatal if treatment is not administered timely. “With no rabies drugs it will be disaster in Karamoja because the region has a big number of dogs since it’s a pastoralist community, which loves dogs,” said Dr Lemukol.
Dr Kathia Lokeris, the veterinary officer of Nakapiripirit District, advised the general public to keep away from stray dogs and urged those, who keep dogs in their homes, to always take them for vaccination.