By Stanley Onyekwere
No fewer than 112 Veterinary Doctors and Animal Scientists were deployed in 30 groups to the six FCT Area Councils, for comprehensive free vaccination exercise for dogs and cats in the Territory.
Also, pets in Mararaba area of Nasarawa State were equally captured, due to its proximity to the FCT.
Making this disclosure, the Acting Secretary, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), Mr. Ibe Prospect Chukwuemeka said the free vaccination exercise for dogs and cats, which kicked off last week was embarked by FCTA, in line with global best practices on disease surveillance, prevention and control.
Ibe led a team of officials from the Secretariat to monitor the the exercise had been extended till today, (Wednesday, 19th February 2020), in order to give opportunity to more pet owners to benefit from the exercise.
The ARDS boss, who was represented by the Director, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Mr. Innocent Ajaefuobi disclosed that the aim visit was to ascertain the progress and level of compliance of pet owners to the programme.
It was gathered that the team visited several locations in the FCT among which was the place Palace of the Chief of Karu.
Also speaking, Director Veterinary Services, ARDS, Dr. Mrs. Regina Adulugba, reiterated that the extension was due to demands with the expectation that at the end 80 to 90% of the dog population in FCT would be covered.
Adulugba described the exercise as a huge success in view of the impressive response from pet owners in the Territory, adding that the campaign was to prevent animal diseases particularly rabies to forestall contraction by humans.
She revealed that already over 300 dogs have been vaccinated within Kuurudu and Karishi axis alone.
Adulugba appreciated the cooperation of residents during the exercise, stressing that with increased awareness people are beginning to understand the essence of taking care of their pets.
She explained that before now, vaccination was done at the Veterinary Clinics with low response from residents, hence the free vaccination was initiated by the FCTA.
She added that in order to reach the rural communities and suburbs where animals are reservoirs because they are free rangers in order to achieve greater coverage.
She called on pet owners to always take advantage of such exercise as vaccination would no longer be free after the campaign, emphasing that it is rare and therefore should be applauded.
As expected, some of the pet owners commended the gesture by FCTA, saying that the impact was immeasurable.