By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
October 1, 2013 (BENTIU) - Officials from South Sudan’s Unity state have vaccinated 400 dogs in Rubkotna county and Bentiu town this week following fear that the risk of contracting rabies through dog bites was on the rise.
Last year 20 people in Payinjiar county were bitten by dogs, 16 of which resulted in the victims dieing of rabies infections.
Doctors, while injecting the animals, recommended that dogs owners help the process by capturing dogs for vaccination.
Payinjiar and Abiemhnom counties have reported a high number of infections from dog bites but poor infrastructure has made it hard or the victims to receive the immediate treatment they need for rabies not to be fatal.
Unity state authorities took part on world rabies which took place on September 28 and pledged to take the lead in vaccinating dogs.
Veterinarian Dr. Gai Chuol, a director of animals health from Unity state ministry of animal resources and fisheries, said: “We actually targeted dogs which are mainly at homes, as we know dogs’ transmitted rabies which is very fatal disease to humans."
Cats and donkeys are also being vaccinated.
Chuol warned victims of dogs bites to seek immediate medical care if they are bitten. In areas without medical resource, he advised people to wash their wounds with soap and water until they can reach a medical centre.
Many roam the streets and markets areas but Chuol urged people to be equally vigilant of the dogs belonging to households.
“If you see your dogs just biting anything sometime just biting stones or iron that mean[s the] dog is not normal. If you are at home you must take this dog to the where it can be vaccinated", said the animal health director.
Authorities in the area say a lack of vaccines has slowed down the vaccination of dogs in the state. Officials are appealing to national, state and international non-governmental organisation to support the exercise.