KISUMU, Kenya, Jun 26 – Two tweenagers aged 10 succumbed to rabies in Seme, Kisumu county, after their parents failed to pay for an anti-rabies injection, a Kisumu County official confirmed on Tuesday.
County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, Gilchrest Okuom, said the one of the deceased – a boy – was taken to a local hospital where he was only given an anti-tetanus injection since the parents could not afford the money for an anti-rabies injection.
The boy had reportedly been bitten by a stray dog.
“While at home, the boy developed nervous signs and when taken back to hospital he passed on,” he said.
Okuom explained the same dog bit a girl who was taken to the hospital and put on anti-rabies injection for a period of three days before it was discontinued because of lack of funds.
“After learning of the death of the first boy, the girl was taken back to hospital to continue with the injection. She was given the third injection and after a short while developed signs and passed on last week,” he said.
The two incidents occurred in Reru sub-location in Seme sub-county.
The livestock department in Kisumu issued an alert following an outbreak of human rabies that claimed the two.
Okuom announced that disease surveillance officers on the ground have noted that five more dog bites have been reported at the local health facility.
He said that mitigation measures have been put in place with a multi-pronged approach that has brought in other departments to respond to the outbreak.
The County Executive Committee Member appealed the health department to ensure anti-rabies vaccines are stocked in the hospitals.
He said his department has identified points of convergence of roaming dogs to ensure population of roaming dogs is reduced.
“There is massive vaccination roll out to cover the entire sub county and surveillance to gauge effectiveness of vaccinations,” he said.