Rabies killed six people in the Bono Region in 2023, Dr. Donald Joachim Darko, the Bono Regional Director of the Veterinary Services Department (VSD) has said.

Comparatively, he said the deaths marginally declined because the Department recorded eight deaths in 2022. Rabies is a deadly virus transmitted through the saliva of infected animals and some symptoms include fever, headache, excessive salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis and mental confusion.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, Dr. Darko said the Department vaccinated 4,402 domestic animals in 2023. More than 8,171 domestic animals, including dogs were vaccinated in 2021 and about 3,606 animals in 2022, he added.

Dr. Darko said the Department was working hard to achieve the World Health Organisation’s target of ensuring rabies free deaths by 2030 and called for support from the general public.

He said until 70 per cent of the pet and domestic animal population were vaccinated three consecutive times, it would be difficult for the country to achieve the WHO target.

Just about six years to go, Dr. Darko called for effective collaboration between the Municipal/ District Assemblies, Ghana Health Service and the VSD towards intensifying public education as well as accessibility and affordability of vaccines to achieve the 2030 target.

He also urged the public to endeavour to bring their cats, dogs and other pets for vaccination at least once a year to help prevent diseases and needless deaths.