The District Medical Officer, Bo District, Dr. Roland Garson-Mash says the South is seen as having a high record of animal bite (Dogs & Cats) cases due to the fact that they have a database for referral cases from neighboring district as Bo has the human anti rabies vaccine.
Dr. Marsh was speaking at an Orientation Meeting organized by the One Health Partners for District Stakeholders in the South East-Region on Thursday October 17th at the Sahara Hotel in Bo City.
Dr. Marsh recalled that Kono District was the district with the highest number of reported cases of animal bites (Cats & dogs), but for 2018, Week 1 – 38 Bo district recorded 156 suspected cases of animal bites and 303 for 2019 of which one case was suspected to be of rabies, and the patient died after failing to respond to the rabies treatment.
He said the District Health Management Team has facilitated the availability of the Anti-Human Rabies Vaccine in private pharmacies, which people can now buy for a certain amount. He however cautioned pet owners to be responsible enough in controlling especially dog bites and by extension the rabies infection.
On Stray Dogs, Dr. Marsh said homes from which the dogs came from should increase their level of responsibility and a policy should be in place to re-shelter those to curtail the influx and be kind to them.
He called on stakeholders to raise awareness on the risk factors of rabies as rabies kills when once the signs and symptoms persist. He advised victims of dog bites to wash the wound with clean running/pouring water and soap up to 20 times for 15 minutes before seeking medical care as a form of first aid.