KZN launches R16.5m rabies project

2012-06-14 18:38
(File photo, Shutterstock)

(File photo, Shutterstock)

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Johannesburg - The KwaZulu-Natal government has launched a R16.5m, five-year project aimed at eradicating rabies in the province, an official said on Thursday.

Provincial spokesperson Ndabezinhle Sibiya said it was a joint venture between the agriculture department and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A multi-disciplinary task team had been set up to deal with rabies in the region.

It comprised officials from health, agriculture and environmental affairs, co-operative governance and traditional affairs, finance, transport, and community safety departments.

"The team has been instructed to ensure...[it] conducts a survey of deaths to establish the extent of rabies-related fatalities in the province," Sibiya said.

An Underberg farmer died in a Pietermaritzburg hospital last week, after he was licked by a rabid dog on his injured hand.

Sibiya said three deaths because of rabies had been recorded this year.

The task team would also involve the education department, and mobilise residents to fight this scourge.

"Schoolchildren will be provided with information about rabies, a vaccination drive [of animals] would be conducted in all high-risk areas and the resources needed to address the rabies would be provided..." Sibiya said.

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