Experts have expressed concern over lack of actions against rabies in the country as people continue to die of the disease.
The President, Society for Rabies in West Africa, Professor Albert Bankole Ogunkoya said there was evident in all African countries that the rabies has been declared endemic and neglected zoonotic diseases.
While noting that majority of African countries have not prioritise the eradication of rabies, he said individual countries within Africa has an obligation to be realistic and put into practice the prescribed Stepwise Action for Rabies Elimination (SARE).
He said; “Consciousness in order to create the most needed enabling environment for zero tolerance towards rabies in Africa by 2030 is expected of us.”
However, the President-elect, Commonwealth Veterinary Association and the vice president, Small Animal Veterinary Association of Nigeria, Dr Tunji Nasiru said there was apparent lack of action against rabies in the country.
According to him, “People are dying of rabies and there is this conspiracy of silence, nobody is talking about it.
The professional bodies are supposed to be doing this. The government and communities are supposed to own it.
He however enjoined the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, the Nigerian Medical Association and all other relevant associations who are involved in the control of rabies to work towards eliminating the disease.
Furthermore, Dr Guillaume Convert, of the Veterinary Public Health Centre, Boehringer Ingelhelm, France stressed that rabies still kills more than 59,000 people every year adding that “this comes together with an economic burden, well over $8.6 billion year.”
“The main hurdle in making rabies elimination a success is that rabies is rarely a number one priority disease . Another way to develop successful means of sustainable rabies control is to create an ecosystem around dog vaccination and responsible dog ownership, where each player can draw some benefits from his personal investment,” he added.