Zambeef Products has joined the Veterinary Association of Zambia (VAZ) in raising awareness on the prevention and treatment of rabies, in support of World Rabies Day on September 28, 2016.
“Rabies is a serious condition that affects the nervous system and can lead to loss of life if left untreated,” said Zambeef marketing and corporate affairs manager Felix Lupindula. “The good news is that this can be prevented, and early treatment is vital to saving lives. That is why as a useful and effective corporate member of the community, Zambeef has partnered with VAZ to enable the message to be heard by the communities that need to hear it.”
Rabies is transmitted via bites and scratches from infected animals and can also be passed on by people already infected. Early treatment with the rabies vaccine is the only way to prevent the onset of the disease. If left untreated, rabies will invariably lead to death. An infected person or suspected case must be brought medical attention immediately so they can be treated with the rabies vaccine at the earliest opportunity. Incubation periods for rabies can range from one week to three months or even longer.
Animals such as cats, bats, and rabbits are common carriers, with dogs topping the list of transmitters. Vaccinating pets against the disease beforehand can go a long way in preventing outbreaks or infections.
“We are pleased to announce that 22 clinics nationwide have so far signed up with us in campaigning for better rabies control and dog-bite prevention. Zambeef has come on board as the main sponsor for this year’s campaigns and we intend to put this to good use as we seek to ‘educate, vaccinate, and eliminate’ rabies countrywide,” said Veterinary Association of Zambia spokeswoman Dr Amy Kingdom.
The association will look to engage communities in the areas signed up to the scheme by working with the different clinics in organising localised campaigns.
“Children are the most vulnerable targets in many cases and it is important to teach them to avoid stray dogs and wild animals,” added Mr Lupindula. “We hope that at the end of the campaign, more people will be educated on the proper care of pets and how to make the home and neighbourhoods safer for everyone. Above all, everyone needs to know how to handle suspicious cases or an outbreak, should they occur.”

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