The fight to eradicate rabies from Ghana may suffer a major setback because key donor funding for the vaccination efforts has been withdrawn.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has revealed that this has forced them to reduce their rate of rabies vaccinations of susceptible animals.
Last year, the Veterinary Service of Ghana warned of more rabies related deaths, as they recorded an acute shortage of dog vaccines.
There are fears the number of rabies cases could increase this year as the number of stray dogs continue to increase on the streets of Accra and other parts of the country.
Speaking to Citi News, a deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in-charge of Livestock, Dr. Hannah Bissiw cautioned that Ghana still had much to do in the fight against rabies. According to her, “Until we vaccinate about 80 percent of our pets and the susceptible animals, we are definitely not there yet.”
She stated that the Ministry was doing its best to battle rabies but their efforts have been hampered by the lack of funding and donor support.
Dr. Bissiw thus appealed to donor communities to come to the Ministry’s aid to avert any looming rabies related epidemics.
“We were doing mass vaccinations but unfortunately we are not getting the donor support anymore for the mass vaccinations which is extremely expensive… That [mass vaccinations] is something we have stopped and that is something that we want to appeal to donors to come and support.”