Ntchisi District Health Office (DHO) says stray dogs are responsible for majority of dog bites in the council.
This development, he said, is piling pressure on the DHO to treat people bitten by stray dogs that have no traceable vaccine history.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, Ntchisi DHO Zondwayo Ngoma said 2017 data shows that the DHO registered 241 dog bite cases, 99 percent of them from stray dogs with an untraceable vaccination status.
“This data indicates that the majority of the cases we treat at the district hospital originate from traditional authorities (T/As) Kalumo, Chilooko, Malenga and clients from neighbouring districts, especially Dowa,” he said.He added that on average, 21 cases were treated monthly last year.
Ngoma said the unit cost for the vaccine is K20 680.69 for five doses, which translates to K260 576.67 monthly and about K3 million annually.
In a separate interview, Ntchisi district animal health and livestock development officer Francis Mhango said plans are underway to start vaccinating dogs and cats to prevent rabies.
“All is set and rabies vaccination centres have been established. We will start with T/A Kalumo at Khuwi Trading Centre, Mpalo Bulking Group [Nthesa] and Chipuka Extension Planning Area [EPA] Headquarters,” he said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 55 000 people die each year due to rabies around the world with 99 percent cases occurring in Africa and Asia.