In order to stop the spread of rabies, veterinarians have urged Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers to ban the sale of dog meat on the state’s streets.
The appeal was made during activities commemorating World Rabies Day in Port Harcourt in 2022 by Dr. Godwin Ukoikpoko, Director of Veterinary Services in the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture.
He warned that continuing to sell dog meat on the streets will increase the rate of rabies in the state because the health status of such dogs cannot be determined.
Dr. Catherine Olutoyin Adetubure, National President of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, has called on the Federal Ministry of Health to make anti-rabies vaccines available to hospitals and all state health centres so that doctors can use 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 zoonotic 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 the 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.