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Shortage of anti-rabies vaccine

28 September 2012, 12:39 Robert Kibet

The Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation has disclosed that there is a shortage of anti-rabies vaccines at the public health hospitals making it hard for those affected to access medication at the public hospitals.

In a speech read on her behalf during a workshop held at a Nakuru hotel ahead of the World Rabies Day, Public Health and Sanitation minister Beth Mugo admitted the shortage of anti-rabies vaccines at public health facilities.

She said rabies has remained a well recognized and feared disease in Kenya and the whole world, with the fatal disease said to be largely caused by domestic livestock,.

“There is a widely known association of rabies with dog or cat bites, but many people may not be aware that other domestic and wild animals can harbor and transmit rabies to human beings; because of that less knowledge, there is a tendency to ignore the risk that could be associated with animals behaving strangely”, she said.

It is said that 90 per cent of rabies cases reported at the public health facilities across the country are largely caused by domestic dogs.

Due to the shortage of the vaccines at the public health facilities, victims of rabies have been forced to buy the vaccines at market prices or forego it as they cannot afford it.

However, she disclosed that her ministry has in the past two years improved accessibility to anti- rabies vaccine by providing about 100,000 doses which  administered free of charge to all victims who present themselves to public health facilities throughout the country.

But at the same time, she expressed concern over the increasing number of cases being reporter as compared to the available vaccines at public health facilities.

“Unfortunately even this amount of vaccines are not enough since the number of cases reported at the public health facilities are also over 100,000.This year alone from January to June, we have seen over 60,000 cases of animal bites with the increase being attributed to public awareness of rabies and importance of early reporting and vaccination”, said the minister in her read speech.

The ministry emphasized the need to give more attention to clear the ro0ot cause of the risk of being bitten in the first place.

The ministry in collaboration with the Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA) using the One Health Approach will be carrying out vaccination against domestic dogs in Naivasha today.

The ministry has also identifies the Department of Veterinary Services, Local government and authorities as well as the Kenya Wildlife Service among other stakeholders, as key to the common goal of controlling rabies.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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