28 Sep 2013 06:30
OMAANDI, 28 SEP (NAMPA) - The community of the Omusati Region on Friday commemorated World Rabies Day at Omaandi village near the Ogongo settlement.
It was also here where a donkey infected with rabies bit the five-year-old Paulina Leevi on 01 November last year.
She was bitten on her right leg whilst asleep under a tree near their homestead.
It was suspected that the donkey had in turn been bitten by a dog suffering from rabies.
Leevi was rushed to the Oshikuku Roman Catholic Hospital and then transferred to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital where doctors amputated her leg in order to save her life.
The donkey was killed and the veterinary officers informed us that it was infected with rabies, following laboratory tests, Leevis grandmother, Lovisa Stefanus, told Nampa in an interview on the sidelines of the commemoration event on Friday.
Stefanus also took the opportunity during the gathering to appeal to Good Samaritans to donate a wheelchair to her granddaughter.
Omusati Regional Governor Sophia Shaningwa in a statement presented on her behalf during the event by her special advisor Reverend Fillipus Kashima, said the commemoration at Omaandi village was about raising awareness on rabies prevention and how the virus spreads.
When people know about rabies, understand how rabies is transmitted and what to do when a person is exposed to the virus, lives are saved, Shaningwa stated.
She pointed out that swift intervention by the local State veterinary services directorate, which vaccinated all pets in the Omaandi village area last year, prevented a further spread of rabies.
World Rabies Day is commemorated worldwide on 28 September each year, but the community of the Omusati Region marked it on Friday as 28 September this year falls on a Saturday.
Namibia first observed the day in the Khomas Region in September 2011. Last years event took place at in the Oniipa Constituency in the Oshikoto Region.
Rabies is a viral disease which causes acute encephalitis (brain inflammation) in warm-blooded animals and is transmitted from one species to another.