October 2, 2022

By Ralph Sesay

The Deputy Director, Livestock and Vetenary Services at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Umaru Alpha Bah,has on Thursday told journalists that his division under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, will observe   International Rabies Day celebration on 28th September, 2019 in Freetown.

He continued that the ministry as part of the celebrations will also raise awareness and sensitization on rabies, improved vaccination coverage and also promote   responsible dog ownership campaigns.

The International Rabies Day celebration which will be held at the Miatta Conference Hall will include a symposium and performance of skits by school going children.

The celebrations, according to officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, started on 16th September with radio programs and jingles with a view to sensitize the public on rabies and responsible ownership of pets.

On the 23rd of September, 2019 a massive vaccination campaign will commence on to 27th September. A total of 10,000 dogs will be targeted for vaccination.

The Director of Vetenary Services also disclosed to news men that this year’s celebration which is the 13th annual celebration internationally will be jointly done in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Freetown City Council and other partners.

He continued that Sierra Leone has been able to develop the Rabies Elimination Strategy 2019-2023 and that the document is set to be launched in December, 2019.

Sierra Leone, according to Mr. Bah, has vaccinated 45,000 dogs and sterilized over 15,000.

He could not say what the dog population in the country is, but said estimated projections have indicated that in the Urban areas; for every 21 people you have two dogs while in the Rural areas for every seven people, you have four dogs.

The Authorities from the Ministry of Agriculture used the opportunity to answer questions on mechanisms to eliminate stray dogs within the city and the issue of people selling dog meat on the market etc.