Dogs stand in line for anti-rabies vaccinations

2017-06-14 11:19
Clement Mnomiya takes his three dogs for vaccination. (Nompendulo Ngubane, GroundUp)

Clement Mnomiya takes his three dogs for vaccination. (Nompendulo Ngubane, GroundUp)

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Durban- “Dogs protect us from crime. Our homes are not fenced. You return from work only to find that your home has been broken into. So dogs are our security, but we cannot turn a blind eye to them also being dangerous. We are grateful that they will be vaccinated against rabies.”

This is according to Clement Mnomiya, one of many residents of Etsheni-elimnyama, Marianhill, near Pinetown, who stood in line in May to have his dogs vaccinated during a pilot project by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs to reduce rabies cases.

Etsheni-elimnyama is a small community with a large number of dogs. Many households appear to have more than one – three to five is typical according to residents, GroundUp reports.

They are used for security. But some residents have been victims of dog attacks, because many are not on leashes, and some have become strays.
 
Residents said that five years ago a woman died after a dog infected with rabies attacked her.

Nobuhle Mazibuko said about four or five dogs attacked her a few weeks ago. She had to go to a clinic for treatment.

“They started barking and I screamed, and that is when they attacked me on my leg. The problem is that almost all the households have dogs, and the houses are not fenced.”

More than 500 dogs were vaccinated as residents came in their numbers.

MEC Themba Mthembu said the project would be run throughout the province.

Rabies is fatal and incurable. However, if people are treated immediately after being exposed, it can be cured.

According to the National Health Laboratory Services, about 55 000 people die of rabies worldwide annually, mostly in Asia and Africa. However, the disease is rare in South Africa, with only about a dozen cases a year.


Read more on:    durban  |  animals

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