Dr. Kwadwo Obeng-Wiredu, Head of the Accra Metropolitan Veterinary Public Health Unit, has expressed worry that people die unnecessarily from rabies because of lack of information on the treatment of dog bite.
He said: “when you treat a rabid dog’s bite by only applying basic first aid and anti-tetanus medication without rabies treatment, you practically do nothing to help the victim, who could develop rabies and die eventually.”
Dr Obeng-Wiredu made the remarks at the launch of a manual he wrote entitled “Dog Bite or Scratch Menace; Its Prevention and Control”, in Tema.
He said because it was not possible to determine whether a dog has rabies or not, people should contact both a doctor and a veterinary officer to ensure complete treatment of the disease.
Dr. Obeng-Wiredu said a veterinary officer is expected to quarantine a dog suspected of having rabies, to enable him or her to find out if the dog has rabies or not and to determine the treatment of a person bitten by dog .
He said about 750 people within the Accra Metropolitan area were bitten by dogs every year, and a third of the bites required medical attention.
Dr. Obeng-Wiredu said it was unfortunate that some people died of rabies, just because they failed to seek the right treatment for a dog bite.
“Let us bear in mind that once you are infected by rabies, it cannot be cured,” he said.
The manual is on the prevention of dog bite as well as treatment, and made up of topics on how to prevent or treat dog bite, who risks getting bitten by a dog among others.
The launch was chaired by Nana Osei Bonsu, Oforikrom Hene and Benkum Hene of the Techiman Traditional Area.