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FAO committed to Global Framework for Elimination of Dog-mediated Human Rabies – Dr Ahmed

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Charles Sarpong Amponsah
Journalist/Sub-Editor and Digital Content Producer. Made in Ghana, consumed worldwide.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), says it is committed to the implementation of the Global Framework for the Elimination of Dog-mediated Human Rabies.

The Country Team Leader, FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease (FAO-ECTAD), Dr Garba Maina Ahmed made the pledge at the National Celebration of the World Rabies Day at Lawra in the Upper West Region.

He said the FAO-ECTAD will continue to give a leg up to the Veterinary Services Division (VSD) in the fight against rabies in Ghana.

GBC’s Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo reports that this year’s event, which is the 14th in the series, is themed: “End Rabies, Collaborate, and Vaccinate”.

Dr Garba Maina Ahmed indicated that FAO will work in close collaboration with all partners towards the global elimination of rabies by 2030.

“Let us all be reminded of our duty to control and prevent rabies in Ghana. We can all do this by being the frontline people to educate family members, church members, mosques, market members and all the stakeholders and the public on this dreadful disease. So many lives have been lost and I think it is high time we put a stop to that. Again, I will still emphasise that rabies is 100% preventable,” he observed.

The Chairman of Rabies in West Africa, Ghana (RIWA-Gh), Dr Richard Suu-Ire announced that the global cost of rabies is 8.6 billion Dollars, with economic loss of 120 billion Dollars which is as a result of premature deaths and loss due to cost of pre-exposure prophylactics.

The Chairman of RIWA-Gh., Dr Richard Suu-Ire.

He pointed out that rabies has 100% fatality rate with horrifying demeaning human clinical presentation and gave further statistics. Dr Suu-Ire pointed out that a study shows that 99% of human rabies is caused by dog bites whilst one human death from rabies occurs globally every 15 minutes.

The Chairman of RIWA-Gh continued that early medical attention is key in saving life of rabid bite victims, saying 40% of these deaths are children below 15.

School children at the function.

The Director of Veterinary Services, Dr William Adu Kuma observed that rabies has been prioritized as one of the zoonotic diseases meant for control and prevention by the Ministries of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and Health (MOH). He stated that MOFA and MOH have upscaled their commitment to helping eliminate rabies by the year 2030.

The Director of Veterinary Services, Dr William Adu Kuma.

Dr Adu Kuma said although everything is on course nationally to eliminate rabies before even the year 2030, the feat could only be achieved with the support of all at the community level because rabies is a societal problem.

He observed: Rabies is not a veterinary problem, it is not even a health problem but it is a societal problem, it is a community problem and we all have a crucial role to play in achieving this goal.”

The Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways and MP for Lawra, Anthony Karbo pointed out that government is dedicated to the fight against rabies and reiterated government’s move to expand and upgrade the Kpong Tamale Veterinary College into a University.

Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, Anthony Karbo.

The Paramount Chief of Lawra, Naa Puowelle Karbo who chaired the function pledged the support of traditional authorizes to the campaign to eliminate rabies.

Naa Puowelle Karbo.

Story filed by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo.

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