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National rabies prevention launched

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry launched the Rabies Prevention Strategy last week in Windhoek.

Mass vaccination of dogs is the most economical way of protecting human beings against the deadly disease. In 2014, 273 cases were recorded, while the previous year, 642 cases were recorded.The highest incidence of rabies recorded in the country was 819 in 2011.
The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa said that frightening statistics show a steady increase in the cases of rabies with the most possible factors for the steady rise caused by unvaccinated dogs and uncontrolled stray dogs.
“I call upon each and every dog owner in our country to bring your dogs and cats for vaccinations which are provided for free everyday at state Veterinary offices,” Mutorwa said.
The Directorate of Veterinary Services will improved its current interventions in the practical control of
Rabies through the launch of the Rabies Control Strategy.
The strategy that was launched by Mutorwa highlighted the challenges and problems associated with the unacceptable ignorance of the disease and the urgent indispensable need to improve the current interventions, by the Directorate of Veterinary Services.
“Focus will be on the communal areas and in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Veterinary Association of Namibia and other Stakeholders, to provide national guidelines and standard operational procedures (SOP’s) for dealing with rabies,” he added.
Currently laws that deal with rabies all fall under the Animal Health Act.

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