The Good Development and Accountability Advocacy (GDAA) organization is advocating for a partnership with the Federal Government to eliminate rabies by 2030. Speaking with reporters in Umuahia, GDAA President Chukwunazom Obi issued a warning about the hazards of rabies and the consumption of dog meat. He emphasized that consuming dog meat infected with the disease could have dire consequences for consumers.
Obi took the opportunity to educate residents of Abia State about the importance of vaccinating their dogs and cats, announcing plans for extensive awareness campaigns throughout the state to combat rabies. He explained that GDAA has implemented enhanced surveillance efforts across the state to capture stray dogs for vaccination, as stray dogs are a primary source of rabies transmission.
Obi stated, “We have established a unit with approximately 70 kennels, where rescued stray dogs receive vaccinations and care from our team of veterinary experts. We have the necessary infrastructure in place and can replicate our efforts in Abia State across other regions of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, with the assistance of the donor community.”
Dr. Chibuzo Obiesi, a GDAA veterinary consultant, emphasized that rabies is incurable, underscoring the urgency of the organization’s intensive awareness campaign to create a safer environment. GDAA has been actively controlling the spread of rabies in Umuahia by apprehending stray dogs, providing proper vaccinations, bathing, feeding, and housing them in kennels until their owners can be identified and notified.
Dr. Njoku Uchechukwu Njoku, Head of the Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, expressed concern that some dog and cat owners, particularly in rural areas, neglect to vaccinate their animals against rabies. He highlighted the severity of the disease, with an almost 100% fatality rate if immediate prophylactic measures are not administered