Turkana County has joined the world in marking World Rabies Day with a call to eliminate the zoonotic disease by vaccinating domestic animals that are carriers of the fatal rabies virus.
The day marked, every 28th September, was celebrated for the first time in Kaikor, Kibish Sub-county; under this year’s theme “All for 1 One Health for All”.
Speaking during the celebration, County Chief Officer for Livestock Development Dr. Ezekiel Etelej applauded the One Health approach in the prevention of rabies and other zoonotic diseases.
“Turkana County is determined to eliminate human-mediated rabies as per the national strategy in robust collaboration with partners,” CCO said.
He further added that the day would be marked every year and that rabies vaccination would be integrated into routine veterinary activities.
The One Health team had managed to vaccinate 156 dogs/cats/donkeys against rabies.
The County Disease Surveillance Coordinator, Absolom Kuya, hinted that since January 2023 up to date, a total of 990 cases of animal bites have been reported across the county.
Despite the high number, he was optimistic that the numbers would reduce significantly through collaborative efforts such as the County One Health Unit; which brings together human health, veterinary, and environment.
As per Kenya’s Strategic Plan for Human Rabies elimination by 2030, rabies is one of the priority zoonotic diseases earmarked for elimination across the country.
Daniel Erus (County EPI Coordinator), Dickson Nzioka (Assistant County Commissioner, Kaikor), Area Chief, and Village Administrator among other One Health Actors were present during the celebrations.