RWAMAGANA – Medics at Rwamagana Hospital are reporting a rise in cases of people bitten by stray dogs.
Ablerata Umunyana, a medical official at the hospital, said this week, that they had received about 15 cases since January; some of the victims having been bitten by rabid dogs.
She said that the biggest problem is that locals cannot afford to pay for the anti-rabies vaccine.
“A complete dosage of anti-rabies vaccine costs over Rwf 30,000. Not many villagers can easily get this money. In the process of trying to raise this amount of money, some die,” she said.
Residents say the dogs, often seen roaming in trading centers and villages, have made life difficult.
These dogs roam around butcheries and open areas, especially near the garbage heaps. Groups of dogs can be seen in almost all villages, especially early in the morning and evening.
“I reach home late in the evening after finishing my work and almost daily, I am distracted by the stray dogs near my house,” Jean Paul Hakizimana, a resident said.
He said many people especially children have been attacked by the dogs.
“I think the entire community and all concerned authorities should take this issue seriously,” he said.
Jean Marie Karisa, a village leader, said he was aware of reports indicating increase in the number of people bitten dogs.
He appealed to veterinary personnel to order the killing of the stray dogs and vaccinate those in people’s homes against rabies.
Athanase Musoni, a local veterinary officer said he has appealed to higher veterinary officials to come up with a solution to control the situation.