The residents of Ngatatoek Ward in Kajiado County, Kenya have a reason to smile. Thanks to our efforts at Action for Protection of Animals Africa (APAA) and the Kajiado County Government, their dogs have been vaccinated against the deadly rabies disease. Since our inception, we have vaccinated thousands of dogs against rabies, under our zero by 30 campaign. This is not just a victory for the dogs but also a triumph for the entire community.
Dogs in this region are not just ordinary pets. They are an essential part of life, providing security and protection to the residents and their livestock. Wild animals such as hyenas and lions roam the area, and dogs are an indispensable line of defense against them. Titus Muinde, a resident of Ngatatoek Ward, had 25 dogs that were an integral part of his household. Unfortunately, 10 of these dogs were infected with rabies, a disease that is both dangerous and fatal.
Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected animal, mainly dogs. It attacks the central nervous system and is almost always fatal once symptoms appear. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), rabies causes over 59,000 deaths globally each year, with 95% of these fatalities occurring in African countries such as Kenya. In Kenya alone, it is estimated that over 2,000 people die of rabies annually.
The situation was dire for Titus and his household. The infected dogs were a threat not only to other dogs but also to the community. The fear of the infected dogs biting school-going children was real, and Titus was forced to make the difficult decision of putting them down to prevent the spread of the disease. It was a heart-wrenching moment, but it was a necessary step to ensure the safety of his family and the community.
However, our efforts have brought hope to the residents of Ngatatoek Ward. The organization has been on the frontlines of vaccinating dogs against rabies, saving countless lives and preventing the spread of this deadly disease. Thanks to our mass dog vaccination campaigns against rabies, the remaining dogs in Titus's household are now protected against rabies, and the community can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the risk of a rabies outbreak has been reduced.
In conclusion, the role of dogs in our communities cannot be overstated. They are our protectors, our companions, and our guardians. It is our responsibility to ensure that they are protected against diseases such as rabies, and APAA and Kajiado County government have taken up this challenge. By working together, we can make our communities safer, not just for dogs but also for humans. Let us continue to raise awareness about the importance of vaccinating dogs and the role they play in protecting human and animal health.