Phalombe District Health Office (DHO) is spending about K10 million monthly on rabies vaccines, it has been learnt.
This means that 40 percent of the office’s monthly drug budget of K25 million is used for rabies vaccine, according the DHO.
Phalombe chief clinical officer Chimwemwe Mthepheya, in an interview on Wednesday, said for the past four months, health facilities in the district have been receiving an average of 100 people per month from traditional authorities Chiwalo, Nazombe and Nkhulambe for treatment.
“This figure is overwhelming because administering anti-rabies vaccine to one client costs us K101 666. 20, and if you make simple calculations, you will find that every month we are spending close to K10.1 million to save lives that have been endangered by pets,” he said.
According to Phalombe district agriculture development officer Jackson Mkombezi, the district has a population of 28 000 cats and dogs and out of this figure, 5 000 were vaccinated during the last vaccination campaign.
“Due to constraints on funding last year, we targeted 16 000 pets. However, after presenting our K3 million budget, it was trimmed to K2 million which was not sufficient for the target,” he said.
Phalombe district commissioner Gossam Mafuta has appealed to non-governmental organisations in the district to support the vaccination campaign to reduce the cost the DHO is incurring in treating rabies.
“The district has a high population of dogs that have not been vaccinated for rabies,” he said. n