The Eastern Regional Minister, Ms Helen Ntoso, has given an ultimatum to all dog owners in the region to vaccinate their dogs within three days or lose the dogs to special task force that would round such dogs up.
She has therefore directed all Municipal and District Chief Executives to form special task forces and comply with the order and round up especially stray dogs that were found all over the region to prevent escalation of the reported cases of rabies in some parts of the region.
The Regional Minister gave the directive at a Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) Meeting with Municipal and District Chief Executives, Heads of departments and agencies in the region on Thursday, after a briefing by the Regional Director of Health, Dr McDamien Dedzo on outbreak of rabies in the region.
Dr Dedzo said four persons had died of rabies at Suhum and Ayensuano this year out of nine dog bite cases and as a result the Regional Health Directorate and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) had collaborated to undertake vaccination of dogs in all the two districts.
He said vaccination was critical to prevent further outbreaks in other parts of the region and therefore called on all the districts to ensure that all dogs were vaccinated by their owners.
Dr Dedzo said dog’s vaccination was a responsibility of the owner and the assemblies also were supposed to enforce the bye-law to ensure that dog owners adhered to that rule for the safety of all.
He appealed to the Municipal and District Assemblies to be strict with the enforcement of the bye-law on keeping dogs since rabies is a dangerous disease that once developed had no cure and the only prevention was to vaccinate dogs.
The Regional Director of MOFA, Dr Fredrick Twum, said the Veterinary Services had in stock enough vaccines for the exercise across the region and appealed to the assemblies to ensure that all dog owners vaccinated their dogs.
He said it appeared fake vaccines were in the system and called on all to go to the designated veterinary offices for the vaccination.