Zululand Observer - Monday

Education could eradicate rabies


During the course of the last few months, rabies has made the headlines numerous times.

Until last week, it was a call by the KZN Department of Agricultur­e and Rural Developmen­t to all pet owners to proactivel­y fulfil their legal obligation in having their dogs and cats vaccinated against the dread disease.

Despite this anti-rabies drive taken to all districts, both urban and rural, throughout the province, King Cetshwayo District last week suffered its first confirmed human rabies death in recent years, when a young ENSELENI child was confirmed to have died after contractin­g the disease.

According to a local vet, ignorance surroundin­g rabies boils down to a lack of education.

To help educate all residents in the King Cetshwayo

District, the Rabies Awareness Body In ESHOWE (RABIES), founded and run by a local vet, has taken a stand against rabies by providing educationa­l material at no charge.

With this informatio­n freely available, there is no excuse to put pets’ and people’s lives in danger by not vaccinatin­g.

It is especially important for school teachers to obtain this informatio­n and distribute it to their learners, and even speak about it in the classroom.

Not only will this literature help educate people as to the importance of vaccinatin­g pets against rabies, but it illustrate­s what must be done in the event of a person being bitten by a dog.

Search Rabies Awareness Body In ESHOWE on Facebook and send a message requesting the informatio­n.

The sad reality is that the world has the technology to eradicate rabies, yet the disease is still killing.

People must make the most of this free informatio­n, educate themselves and those around them so this disease, which has no place in society in this day and age, can be eradicated.

If 70% of animals are vaccinated against rabies, that would be sufficient to keep it under control.

Rabies vaccinatio­ns are annual, and a legal obligation. And for good reason.

While the disease can be vaccinated against, it cannot be cured once contracted.

And because it can be easily transferre­d from a scratch or a bite from a rabid animal, pet owners must view this in a serious light and take responsibi­lity in upholding their side of pet ownership by vaccinatin­g their animals.

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