The Akwa Ibom government has advised the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) and other stakeholders to intensify awareness on rabies to the populace, as it has put in place necessary mechanism to sensitise and combat the spread of the disease.
The state commissioner for agriculture, Dr Offiong Offor, stated this while speaking at a one-day seminar organised by the state chapter of NVMA at the Ministry of Agriculture, Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat Complex, Uyo, to mark the 2022 World Rabies Day, set aside by the United nations to honourLouis Pasteur, who discovered rabies vaccine.
Offor emphasised the need for a concerted effort by all stakeholders to prevent, curb and eliminate the spread of the dreaded rabies disease.
The agric commissioner advised the professional body and other stakeholders to intensify awareness on rabies to the populace, as Gov Udom Emmanuel has put in place necessary mechanism to sensitise and combat the spread of the disease.
According to her, the commitment of the Akwa Ibom government was showcased during the official launch of the National Anti-Rabies campaign in August in addition to twomonths free inoculation of animals to curb the spread of rabies in human as well as animal species.
Offor said, “World Rabies Day is intended to create awareness about the impact of rabies on humanity, provide information on ways to prevent the disease and support advocacy for increased efforts in rabies control.”
The agric commissioner hinted that a review of the year 2022 by a network of international government agencies, vaccine manufacturers and other stakeholders, acknowledged World Rabies Day as a useful tool to facilitate rabies prevention.
She averred that rabies pose a significant health problem in many countries of the world, which account for humans and animals death, noting that it was imperative for all to collaborate in combating the disease.
In his welcome address, the state chairman, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Ofonmbuk Ntuen, noted that rabies is a deadly disease with early infection symptoms that include fever, nausea, violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, among others.
Ntuen said the one-day seminar was organised to create awareness on the disease and expose the populace to the possible preventive measures in line with the theme of year 2022 World Rabies Day, “One Health, Zero Deaths,” aprojection estimated to be realised by 2030.
In his goodwill message, the director, Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Dr Obot Obot, appreciated the commissioner for agriculture for attending the occasion and solicited more enlightenment workshops to stem the disease.
The director of Public Health, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health, Mr. Daniel Etuk, Dr. Edem Offiong and other resource persons, took the participants on the topics:“Interdisciplinary Approach to Rabies Control and Rabies Related Cases in Humans,” “Rabies & You” as well as other relevant topics.
The event was graced by the director, Animal Husbandry, Mr. Aniefiok Isong; the legal adviser, Ministry of Agriculture, Barr. Okon Andem; the director, Planning Research andStatistics, Mrs. Precious Edet, and veterinary doctors.