PUBLISHED — 21st, September 2022

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is to carry out a three-day rabies vaccination exercise for dogs and cats in Kampala City.

The vaccination to be carried out by the Veterinary Unit will be carried out from September 24th to September 26th between 9:00am and 4:00pm.

At least 1500 dogs and cats are to be vaccinated at three venues that include; Vetpal Animal Clinic on Mawanda Rd on September 24th, St Stephen’s Church Kisugu on Sunday September 25th and at Makerere University COVAB on Monday September 26th.

The vaccination exercise is in commemoration of the World Rabies Day that will be marked on September 28 in Tororo district.

According to Dr Sarah Zalwango, the Deputy Director Public Health and Environment the activity is expected to protect the people of Kampala and also ensure city dwellers contribute greatly to the increased coverage of rabies vaccination and to the end of human deaths from dog-mediated Rabies by the year 2030.

“Rabies can be completely prevented. This is done by vaccination of our dogs and cats. When you vaccinate your pet, you are sure it is firstly protected from the disease in case it gets a bite from an already infected dog or wild animal. Secondly, vaccination protects humans in a way that if such a vaccinated pet bite any person, there is no risk of transmission of rabies,” Zalwango said.

She advised people to avoid provoking dogs and cats, as this has been shown to be one of the main ways through which these animals attack and bite humans, especially children. 

Kampala has a large number of free roaming dogs. These sometimes bite visitors or residents and pose a risk of transmission of rabies. 

Dr Hannington Katumba a Veterinarian at KCCA, says during these three days, a team of veterinary surgeons will perform surgical procedures on dogs as a population control measure. The surgical techniques are called spay and castration.

Spaying is where the uterus of the female dogs is removed so that it will not be able to reproduce again. Castration is the surgical removal of the dog’s testicles so that even if they mate, the females are not able to get pregnant.

At least 50 dogs and cats are to be spayed or neutered by the end of the event.

KCCA has also organized school outreaches where technocrats will spend time talking to children in schools about rabies and hope to make this a routine activity where children are expected to convince their parents to routinely take their pets for vaccination even after this World rabies day.

“Children are very instrumental in the fight against rabies. They are often times the true dog owners, and they spend a lot of time with these pets and this makes them a high risk group for dog bites,” Katumba said.

All pets, dogs and cats should receive their first Rabies vaccination starting at 4 months of age, and at One Year and then every year after that.

Once vaccination is done, a certificate is given indicating the date of the vaccination, the details of the vaccine used, and the date for the next vaccination.

What to do when a dog bites:

When you get a bite from a dog or cat, you should immediately wash the wound with plenty of water and soap. Then immediately, you should seek first aid in a medical center. In the meantime, inform the nearest veterinarian to help assess the situation and provide expert advice on how to manage.

People who always work in close association with dogs and cats for example veterinarians, dog handlers, dog trainers, dog breeders, should all get Rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis, since they have a higher risk of getting animal bites and therefore getting rabies.

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