Rabies is as Dangerous as Lassa Fever, Ebola, FG warns Dog Owners and distributes vaccines to Medical students.

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Following the dangers students of veterinary colleges face in caring for animals, especially dogs, the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), has distributed 1,812 rabies vaccines to students.

The government also warned that rabies is also as dangerous as Lassa fever, Ebola and other zoonotic diseases. The vaccines will further prevent the students from being infected when they are carrying out their professional duties after their academic year.

Speaking at the occasion on Thursday, the Registrar of Veterinary Council of Nigeria, Dr Edger Sunday, noted that rabies is a preventable viral disease which is transmissible to humans through bites from infected animals.

He further said that pre-exposure vaccination is an effective preventative measures against the virus. “Rabies is a preventable viral disease of warm blooded animals that is transmissible to humans through bites of infected animals. In our own environment, the dogs are the most important sources of majority human rabies.

“Pre-exposure vaccination is a very effective preventative measures against rabies and this is highly recommended for high-risk occupation of which veterinary medicine is one.

“It is in response to the plight of these students that the Veterinary Council of Nigeria requested for allocation of these human anti-rabies vaccines from the Federal Ministry of Health.

“In all 1,812 vials of the vaccine were allocated to VCN and this are what we are distributing to the nine accredited Faculties/Colleges of Veterinary Medicine in the country and the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA),” he stated.

Dr Sunday, who was represented by the Deputy Registrar, Dr Josiah Kantiyok, therefore said “henceforth, vaccination of clinical veterinary students against rabies will be one of the criteria for accreditation of Faculties/Colleges of veterinary medicine.”

In her address, the representative of the Ministry of Health, Mrs Ifeoma Anagbogu, described rabies as a zoonotic viral disease which affects man and other animals. She said that the virus is as dangerous as other zoonotic diseases, like Ebola, Lassa fever and bird flu, and it’s also preventable.

REFERENCE: TRIBUNE NEWS.

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Cynthia Isuekebhor