By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
February 28, 2013 (BENTIU) - Stray dogs in Unity state have become an increasing problem with a rise in the number of people being attacked and bitten, with seven people attacked over the last week in Biemrouk village near to Bentiu town.
Last month health authorities in Bentiu, say they treated five cases of dog bites in Bentiu state hospital. In Payiniar County 20 people are reported to have died of rabies from dogs bites this year.
Local people fear that an increase in street dogs poses a big threat to both animals and people in Unity state.
Dr. Sabino Andrew Amum, a medical doctor in Bentiu state hospital, told Sudan Tribune says the week alone has seen seven cases of dog bites at the hospital.
"We have seven people bitten by wild dogs and also we are able to manage them, we gave them antivirus and now they are well all of them, almost all of these wild dogs is the most causing problem in Unity state and this also need collaboration with those of veterinary also those of polices to get rid of wild dogs in the area”, added Amum.
Amum urged people to immediately report people who have been bitten to the nearest health centre for urgent treatment.
“Also this two ways either dogs should be treated or should be owned by people not the wild dogs moving not belong to anybody. Also people should be very cautious in contact with dogs”.
State health officials called on veterinarians and police in the state to prevent further dogs bites by killing stray dogs in the town. According to health authorities in Bentiu hospital, since January many people were brought to hospital to seek treatment due to dogs bites. But Amum added that there have been no cases of deaths from dog bites since the beginning of this year.
Dr. Botino Malual Kok, director general in the Unity State Ministry of Animals Resources and Fisheries, says lack of awareness about rabies is a big challenge in the state. Kok added that the Ministry is committed to treating wild dogs but also said that dogs owners also need to to report their dogs for treatment.
“Always we uses to treat these dogs in our clinic but due to lack of awareness from our people in the villages about the danger of rabies as the virus disease which can be fatal sometimes, although we have some programme every two week a month, we discuss about public health awareness our people they don’t respond in the clinic when we call for vaccination campaigns for the dogs”, said Kok.
Although some dogs stay in people’s homes, some dogs have taken to hiding in the bush and have become wild. Kok also urged polices to clear stray dogs from the streets.
“So we use to recommended our wild life to kill any street dogs, because these street dogs they are the one who cause this rabies and they are very dangerous, even sometimes they bite animals and we know the people of Unity state most of them they are agro-pastoralists so most of them they are keeping livestock “, Kok told Sudan Tribune on Thursday.
Residents in Bentiu town express a lot of fear about the number of street dogs. Peter Gaw Ngundeng a resident from Bentiu, added that dog are attacking other animals as well as humans.
“You know these roaming dogs they are dangerous for human beings here especially with the kids, they normally attack young boys. My fear is that if they continue just increasing themselves as roaming dogs around and then they are dangerous for our children”, said Ngundeng.
Ngundeng said there is a need for an urgent law to be introduced to allow authorities to kill all street dogs in order to prevent further attacks.
“There should be regulation from the government either by killing them or by poisoning them, any method that can reduce the population of rooming dogs then can be possible because they are even barking at night, people don’t sleep at all because they are really disturbing and they also attack goats”.