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World rabies day: FCTA plans to raid stray dogs off the streets of Abuja

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As part of efforts to eliminate the risks of the spread of rabies, FCT Administration says plans are underway to rid the streets of Abuja of stray dogs.

The mandate Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Abubakar Ibrahim dropped this hint on Wednesday at the flag-off of the door to door mass vaccination of dogs across the six area councils of the territory to mark the 2022 world rabies day.

Ibrahim said the secretariat is already working out modalities that would ensure effective collaboration with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB to arrest every stray dogs found on the streets of Abuja.

He called on dog and cat owners in the FCT to take advantage of the mass vaccination exercise which will be going on simultaneously across the six Area Councils of the FCT for the next four weeks in order to guarantee their safety and that of their pets.

According to Ibrahim, the target of the Administration is to embark on a five year annual vaccination campaign against the dreaded zoonotic disease that is a menace not only in Nigeria but the world over.

“FCT Administration through the Agriculture & Rural Development Secretariat has adopted a multi-targeted approach to effectively combat the disease. These includes embarking on aggressive sensitization campaign with the involvement of qualified Animal Health and information management experts.

Strengthening the capacities of Veterinary personnel as well as facilities to effectively manage rabies cases. Carrying out periodic anti rabies vaccination exercise across the nooks and crannies of the FCT.”

“The theme of this year’s event, “One Health Zero Deaths“ is apt considering the rising cases of rabies infection that are reported globally. Records have shown that in Nigeria, about 55,000 people die annually from dog and cat mediated rabies infections. Even though cats and other wild animals are major carriers of the disease, dogs account for over 99% of recorded infections.

There is no doubt distinguished ladies and gentlemen, that as a cosmopolitan city, with a fast growing human and animal population, the risks of transmission and spread of the disease in the FCT is very high. More worrisome to health practitioners is the fact that the fatality rate of the disease ranks amongst the deadliest zoonotic diseases because once a rabies infection is established, there is no effective cure and the risk of transmission is very high”.

Earlier in her address, the Director Veterinary services of the FCTA Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Dr. Regina Adulugba said the administration is committed to achieve a zero record of the virus in the territory, hence the extension of the exercise to neighbouring state of Nasarawa.

While lamenting the challenge stray dogs pose to achieving the administration goals, she stressed that ending the menace of stray dogs in the streets of FCT is key to eliminating rabies.

She further appealed to pet owners to take advantage of the exercise and ensure that their pets are vaccinated to prevent the spread of the virus.

For his part, the Vice President Veterinary Council of Nigeria Dr. Bala Muhammad expressed the Council’s readiness to collaborate with the FCTA to eliminate dog mediated rabies by 2030

“It is apt that we have this year’s theme that we have to join hands together in terms of collaboration in making it happen in making sure that we eliminate dog mediated rabies by the year 2030, this is just eight years away and am sure with the kind of efforts I have seen at the grassroots represented by the FCTA, it is actually achievable”.

High point of the event was the symbolic vaccination of dogs.



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