Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
BLANTRYE--Rabies cases are increasing each year in both humans and animals particularly in urban and around the peri-urban areas, says the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.
This comes as the ministry through the department of animals and livestock will commemorate the World Rabies Day on September 28, 2012 in Mulanje district.
“In Malawi rabies case is increasing each year and the domestic dog is the major source of infection to humans. Rabies is a very serious zoonotic disease affecting all warm blooded animals and it is endemic in Malawi,” observes Jeffrey Luhanga, Principal Secretary for Agriculture and Food Security.
Around the world, about 99 percent of all human cases are caused by bites from infected dogs and cats, he says.
Luhanga says the ministry will take advantage of the World Rabies Day and Rabies Campaign to raise awareness of the impact of human and animal rabies and to emphasize how rabies can be prevented.
“The most effective way of controlling rabies is to vaccinate 80 percent of the dog population in Malawi. We are therefore appealing to the general public to take their dogs and cats to their nearest designated vaccination centers during the campaign month.
“All vaccinated dogs and cats will be given certificates. Dogs roaming around during the campaign are liable to be shot,” Luhanga adds.
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Professor Peter Mwanza is expected to be the guest of honor at the National Rabies Month Campaign launch to take place at Muloza, Mulanje and theme for this year is “Rabies Kills: Vaccinate your pets to protect the nation.”