K’gala DMO warns of stray dog menace

"Stray dogs have become a threat to the lives of ordinary people and measures should be taken early to put an end to this problem to prevent the spread of rabies," said Dr. A. M. Premathilake, the DMO of Kurunegala addressing a conference of PHIs in the Kurunegala district on ‘Prevention of Rabies’ held recently, at Bingiriya National school.

Dr. Premathilake said there were over 2.5 million dogs in the country and annually nearly 735,000 cases of dog bites had been reported, according to recent statistics of the Ministry of Health Services.

The government spent Rs. 500 million annually to treat victims bitten by dogs and nearly 2000 people fell victims to stray dog bites per day, he said.

In 2007, fifty people died of dog bites and the Ministry of Health had increased its financial allocation by Rs.100 million in 2008 to treat the victims, he said.

Minister of Healthcare, Nimal Siripala de Silva has directed officials to organise seminars and workshops to educate parents and school communities on rabies and the danger of breeding dogs and dumping the pups with their mothers on roads or near temples, he said.

"Killing dogs is a sin. Those who rear dogs should vaccinate them to arrest the spread of rabies. Bitches too should be sterilized to control the dog population, he said. W. E. Jayatilleke, Divisional Secretary of the Bingiriya division also addressed the conference. (S.M.W)



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