The Principal Investigator on the Ebola Natural History Study in Liberia Dr. Mosoka Fallah has called on Liberians to embark on the same spirit used during the fight against the Ebola virus disease outbreak through its communities engagement to eliminate rabies from Liberia.
Dr. Fallah made the statement yesterday at the celebration of World Rabies Day under the theme: “Educate, Vaccinate and Eliminate’ held at the Duport Road Health Center in Paynesville.
He said even though rabies is a killer disease, it can be prevented and completely eliminated in the country if citizens rise up against it as it was done during the Ebola outbreak.
Dr. Fallah noted that to eliminate rabies is for pet owners to ensure that their dogs are vaccinated against rabies.
He advised that in order to eliminate rabies from killing less than 15 year old children, inter sectoral meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture and health must work together to pay for the cost of immunizing dogs.
“It’s important for these things to be put in place because Liberia doesn’t have a good surveillance system therefore we must use the measures that was enforced during the EVD outbreak to save the lives of our people,” Dr. Fallah said.
He encouraged awareness campaign programs to educate communities on the danger and the preventive measures on how to help communities eliminate rabies in the country.
He pointed out that this venture is necessary because if citizens are not educated about the danger and the prevention of rabies they will not know what to do and how to prevent it .
Meanwhile, Roseline George, Deputy Director for Disease Prevention and Control at the Ministry of Health, disclosed that statistics indicate that there are 779 dog bites cases in the country with Montserrado County accounting for the highest cases of 444 incidents.
The issue of addressing rabies is very significant to the country because there are many citizens affected with cases of rabies that have led to the deaths of several young people.
To eliminate rabies the Ministries of health, agriculture and World Health Organization and others, have introduced vaccines to be used to treat victims of rabies, and the Duport Road Health Center in Paynesville is the center for the exercise.
Dr. Garba Ahmed of the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) County Team Leader of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) encouraged Liberians to report cases of rabies and must also take their dogs to be vaccinated.
“We need to work together to end rabies and this can be done if everyone works to create awareness and then going to the health facility for vaccination,” Dr. Ahmed said.
Several speakers at the occasion spoke of the danger of rabies if it is not treated and called on government and partners to decentralize the immunization process by taking the awareness and treatment to other counties.