By Daniel Tyokua
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) through the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, ARDS, has vaccinated over 300 dogs at the first phase of 2020 free anti rabies vaccination in Kurudu and Karishi.
Acting Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr. Ibe Prospect Chukwuemeka, stated this at the weekend, when he led team officials from the secretariat to monitor the ongoing free vaccination exercise for dogs and cats in the FCT.
In a statement issued by the deputy director information (ARDS), Alhaji Zakari Aliyu, said the team visited several locations in the FCT among which was the Palace of the Chief of Karu in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
Ibe who was represented by the Director, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Mr. Innocent Ajaefuobi disclosed that the free vaccination exercise for dogs and cats kicked off last Monday was embarked upon by FCTA in line with global best practices on disease surveillance, prevention and control.
According to the statement, a total of about 112 Veterinary Doctors and Animal Scientists have been deployed in 30 groups to the six area councils, adding that Mararaba in Nasarawa State was also captured due to its proximity to the FCT.
He disclosed also that the exercise has been extended to Wednesday, 19th February 2020, in order to give opportunity to more pet owners to benefit from the exercise.
Also, the Director Veterinary Services, ARDS, Dr Mrs. Regina Adulugba described the exercise as a huge success, considering the impressive response from pet owners. She revealed that already over 300 dogs have been vaccinated within Kuurudu and Karishi axis alone.
Adulugba appreciated the cooperation of residents during the exercise which she stressed that with increased awareness people are beginning to understand the essence of taking care of their pets. She added that the campaign was to prevent animal diseases particularly rabies to forestall contraction by humans.
The extension, she said was due to demands with the expectation that, at the end 80 to 90% of the dog population in FCT would be covered.
She intimated that before now vaccination was done at the Veterinary Clinics with low response from residents hence the free vaccination was instituted by the FCTA in order to reach the rural communities and suburbs where animals are reservoirs because they are free rangers in order to achieve greater coverage.