The director veterinary services Dr. Evans Odhiambo has announced plans to hold a 2-day bating exercise in Seme Sub county on the 8th to 10th of July 2019 which will be followed by a mass vaccination drive.
Recently, the County government has been on high alert following rabies outbreak that caused the death of two children reported in Seme Sub County. The County directorate of health and its sister directorate of Veterinary services held a meeting to review a rabies investigative report done by the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) anchored within the Ministry of Health and supported by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Following rabies epidemic in most parts of the County, the department reached out to FELTP to help understand the rabies prevalence in Seme sub county. According to Dr. Daniel Ong’are of FELTP Kenya, there is increased awareness of rabies prevention and control measures through education and information on responsible pet ownership, how to prevent dog bites and immediate care measures after a bite.
The report presented by Dr. Ong’are indicated one of the challenges experienced by the community as inaccessibility of anti-rabies due to the distance to the health facilities thus hindering access to full dosage of the vaccine.
Human rabies is virtually always fatal despite numerous attempts at aggressive therapy by the health facilities. Most survivors receive one or more doses of rabies vaccine prior to the onset of the dog bite, however many more survivors fail to get to the health facilities for a follow up vaccines.
The report recommended capacity building of health care workers on RIG and PEP administration, proper record keeping and tracking of patients to ensure adherence to immunization protocol, continuous sensitization of the community on availability of public goods and services at public health facilities, reduction of dog population coupled with sensitization on responsible dog ownership and sustainable regular vaccination of dogs to achieve herd immunity.
The County Pharmacist Dr. Lawrence Otieno confirmed the availability of anti-rabies stating that the County has maintained buffer stock for the vaccine. Dr. Odhiambo of County Vet services also pledged to donate 100 more of Antiviral for rabies to go to the health centres.
Kisumu is one of the selected counties for rabies pilot study in Kenya having been pronounced as an endemic area with Seme Sub County as the most affected endemic areas in the County, followed by Kisumu East, Kisumu West, Muhoroni and Nyakach Sub counties respectively.
By Matilda Atieno