National, News

Unvaccinated stray dogs pose threat -Vet doctor

By Gladys Fred Kole


A veterinary doctor in Juba has expressed concern over the dangerous presence of stray dogs in the city’s suburbs.

This concern comes after a seven-day dog vaccination program against rabies concluded on Monday.

To mark World Rabies Day, the South Sudan Veterinary Association organized an exercise to vaccinate dogs in Juba and Aweil town under the theme “All for one and one for health for all.

It started last Wednesday, November 9, 2023, and the exercise concluded yesterday, Monday, November 13, 2023.

The veterinary association said it is playing its part as this is a public health concern, adding that they intend to eradicate rabies in the whole country by 2030.

The three set-up locations for the vaccination in Juba were Munuki, Gudele, and Gurei.

According to the association, the exercise is carried out every year around this time of the year. Although it was supposed to take place in late September, the campaign was postponed to November due to some inconveniences.

Speaking to the No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the team leader of the Munuki vaccination center, Dr. Mansuk Benard said they are faced with the challenge of dogs roaming the streets of Juba.

He said they were only vaccinating dogs with owners because the owners are able to bring them for vaccination.

“Because they are not vaccinated, they (street dogs) will be the source of danger in the community and public. The owners are not there who will bring them; to approach the dog, it needs the owner to approach it and control it, and we only inject them,” Mansuk stated.

He urged dog and pet owners to take their responsibilities seriously.

“We are trying to control rabies and contain it; if we are provided with resources, our aim is to eradicate rabies. We eradicate it by going nationwide, but initially, we are carrying out this exercise in Juba and Aweil town,” he said.

According to him, they have vaccinated 150 dogs in Munuki station alone as of yesterday.

“Our range has been 25 per day; today (yesterday) being the final day, we might expect more or less. We are vaccinating those ones with owners because we issue a card at the end of the vaccination,” Mansuk noted.

However, the vet doctor said their association has plans to launch an initiative to castrate all the male dogs on the streets, but the lack of resources to acquire surgical tools and medicines is still delaying the process.

Mansuk encouraged the community and those who haven’t brought their dogs for vaccination to do so.

He stressed that they should take responsibility for their dogs so that they are able to contain these dangerous diseases.

Each dog has been vaccinated for 2,000 SSP.

Meanwhile, James Ladu Wani, a pet owner who brought his dog for vaccination, commended the Veterinary Association for this great idea of vaccinating the dogs to keep them free from rabies.

“They have really helped us by bringing this idea to the people; our dogs are our main source of security, and they protect us.” Ladu underscored

He urged fellow dog owners to take care of their dogs if they love them and not let them go on the streets.

The vaccine they are using to vaccinate the dogs is called Radixin (anti-rabbis), which is valid for a year. Once it’s vaccinated, it protects the dog for a period of a year.

The dogs aged 9 months and older are the ones that get vaccinated, as the smaller ones are bathed and given a deworming medicine called Ascaten and an albendazole oral solution that is supplemented through their milk.

The breed doesn’t matter. The vaccine works for all types of breeds, whether local, foreign, German shepherd or bulldog, among others.

Rabies is a dangerous disease that can affect humans and canines. It is a public health concern, but once the canine is vaccinated, the rate of it infecting human beings is reduced.

Rabies attacks the brain and spinal cord. All mammals, including dogs and humans can catch rabies; it is a vaccine-preventable, zoonotic, viral disease affecting the central nervous system.

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