Child experts (pediatricians) at Mulago hospital in the department of Paediatrics have shown concern following the death of five children to rabies in the last two weeks, which has not happened in many years.
The experts revealed that according to their regular statistics, they lose close to one child per month due to rabies, but the number having risen to five in such a short period of time, there is a problem.
Dr. Sabrina Kitaka, senior lecturer,Department of Pediatrics, Makerere University College of Health Sciences said ,"For us, this is serious because normally, we lose close to one patient per month, and most of our patients come from the radius of Kampala, but this time round, we had children coming in as far as Luweero, that is why we are worried," she said
"This is serious and calls for immediate action, as pediatricians, we are pushing and advocating to get vaccines in all health centres, because vaccination is not universal in the country," she added. She attributes the increase to laxity in currying of the dogs (mercy killing of the non-vaccinated dogs).
Two years back, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) carried out mercy killing of dogs that were not vaccinated, but since then, dogs that are not vaccinated are roaming everywhere which the child experts say is putting lives of children and other people at risk.
Dr. Edison Mworozi, senior consultant paediatrician, Mulago hospital said losing even a single life to rabies, something that is preventable is call for concern; he therefore said the primary prevention of these deaths is vaccination of all dogs, calling for expansion of vaccination areas beyond Kampala to other parts of the country as well.
He called on the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries to start countrywide vaccination of all dogs so that there are no more deaths