HIGH NUMBER OF DOG BITES IN SIERRA LEONE; BO DISTRICT MEDICAL OFFICER REACTS

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Bo District DMO, Dr. Roland Garson-Mash Addressing District Stakeholders

By Ibrahim Sorie Koroma

The District Medical Office for BO District, Dr. Roland Garson-Mash has said that the reason for his district to record high cases of animal bites (Dogs & Cats) is because animal / dog bites cases are referred to Bo district from the neighboring districts, because they can access the human anti rabies vaccine in Bo from the private sector/pharmacies.

Dr. Marsh was speaking at an Orientation Meeting organized by the One Health Partners for District Stakeholders in the South East -Region on Thursday October 17th at the Saharah Hotel in Bo City.

While addressing stakeholders, Dr. Marsh recalled that Kono District was the district with the highest number of reported cases of animal bites (Cats & dogs), but for 2018 of Week 1 – 38 Bo district recorded 156 suspected cases of animal bites and 303 for 2019 of which they had one suspected cases of rabies, who died after failing to succumb to the rabies treatment.

Dr. Marsh reiterated that the major cause of the increase in number of animal bits in his district is as a result of the fact that they at the District Health Management Team have facilitated the availability of the Anti-Human Rabies Vaccine through private pharmacies, which people can buy for a certain amount.

He however called on residents of Bo Districts and beyond to be responsible pet owners, as that will not only limit the number of dog bits, but also rabies infection.

In his opinion of Stray Dogs, Dr. Marsh said that these dogs were originally in homes, but could not be cared for, which led them in the streets. He suggested that these dogs can be rehomed by been kind to them.

He called on stakeholders to raise awareness on the risk factors of rabies as rabies kills when once the signs and symptoms persist. He advised victims of dog bites to wash the wound with clean running/pouring water and soap up to 20 times for 15 minutes and seed medical care at the nearest health facility.

 

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