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The persistent increase in cases of rabies, a zoonotic disease most spread by dogs, has triggered the assistant commissioner in charge of veterinary and public health and zoonosis at the Ministry of Health to propose a law to regulate the breeding of dogs by individuals.Dr. John Opolot, the assistant commissioner in charge of veterinary and public health and zoonosis, says once a law is in place, it will reduce unnecessary expenditures on treatment as well as compel the dog owners to keep as many dogs as they can afford to care for.

“Currently the maximum you can spend on vaccinating a dog is UGX 5,000 and if the rabies situation in the area is not much, you can stay for two years without vaccinating something cheaper compared to humans attacked by rabies where a single injection of anti-rabies ‘immunoglobulin’ which goes at UGX 50,000 – 60,000 and even the accessibility is a challenge and they are even not very very much”
By Dramadri Federick.

Opolot said for the patient to recover from rabies, he or she needs four injections, meaning this can cost close to three hundred thousand shillings (UGX 300,000).Dr. John further states that the number of dogs has continued to grow, yet the care provided remains minimal, especially by the owners.

“The only law I know about is the Rabies Act, but regulating the population of dogs is not there, and that’s why everybody can keep a dog at any time.”

Dr. John Opolot, SpeakingIn his explanation, once Uganda has a law to regulate dog population, the it should in cooperate the aspects of placing the dog owners responsible for feeding the dogs, limit the number of dogs, eliminate stray dogs and focus on mandatory vaccination of dogsDue to the cross-border movement of the stray dogs from the eastern democratic republic of Congo, poor feeding mechanisms deployed by the owners of the dogs as well as primitive cultural practices portrayed by the local communities are sighted as the major factors providing fertile grounds for the rabies.Dr. Cleophas Ntumba, District Health Officer Biringi Health Sub District Under Aru Territory in Ituri Province, notes that the regular interactions between communities even make it worse for the disease spread and urges both governments to team up to derive solutions for the problem.Dr. Cleophas Ntumba DHO Biringi Health Sub district

“People, dogs and whatever can cross the border from Uganda to Congo, even from Congo to Uganda and there’s no border for dogs and we have markets which are on the road along the borderline and that makes the rabies situation unmanageable.”

World Food Program Dogs are the main source of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans globally. The economic burden of dog-mediated rabies is estimated at US$ 8.6 billion per year.

BY: Dramadri Fredrick, Dailywestnile.info 
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