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Rabies control project expanding to other regions

OUTAPI, 06 APR (NAMPA) – A rabies control project that was piloted in the Oshana Region between March last year and February this year, is to be expanded to other regions.
Omusati regional councillor for the Ruacana Constituency, Andreas Shintama officially launched the roll-out of the three-year rabies control project on behalf of Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa at Outapi on Thursday.
The project is aimed at eliminating dog-mediated human rabies.
In a statement delivered on his behalf, Mutorwa said besides Oshana, the roll-out will also cover the northern communal areas (NCAs) in the regions of Omusati, Ohangwena, Kunene, Oshikoto, Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi, where the risk for rabies is high.
“Rabies is a viral disease of animals but too often the outcome is weighed in terms of human suffering and death,” said Mutorwa.
He described rabies as a preventable disease which accounts for 60 000 human deaths worldwide annually because it is neglected.
Some 95 per cent of human deaths occur in Africa and Asia.
Rabies control project coordinator, Dr Rauna Athingo said 25 649 dogs were vaccinated against rabies during the pilot phase.
The expansion to other regions will include mass vaccination of pets, intensified public awareness, promoting stray pet management measures and stakeholder engagement.

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