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Friday, 08 September 2017 14:50

Stray dogs worry Nkhata Bay communities

Written by  Aliko Munde

Nkhata Bay, September 8, 2017: Communities in Nkhata Bay are worried with the increase in the number of stray dogs and have asked the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development to act to prevent an outbreak of rabies.

Speaking in an interview, Member of Parliament for Nkhata Bay Central Ralph Mhone said many dogs loiter in locations.

“Every day I find dogs around my house; I don’t know the owners and I don’t even call them [dogs],” Mhone said.

He then asked the District Animal Health and Livestock Development department to vaccinate all dogs to prevent an outbreak of rabies in the district.

Councilor for Chintheche Ward Esnart Nyambalo Banda echoed Mhone’s sentiments saying the situation is the same at Chintheche Rural Hospital.

“We also have the same problem here especially at Chintheche rural hospital where you always find a barracks of dogs and it is scaring,” Banda said.

Nkhata Bay District Animal Health and Livestock Development Officer Jahmes Trasco Mzere said financial constraints is the main challenge facing the department in carrying out rabies vaccine exercise.

According to Mzere, allocation for this year is only K300, 000.

“With this money, we are going to vaccinate not more than 1000 dogs this financial year. But most of the times our head office gives us additional vaccine and we are expecting to reach out to 3000 or 4000 dogs,” Mzere said.

He said in 2016-2017 financial year, the district managed to vaccinate 580 dogs out of 12, 000 against a national recommendation of vaccinating 80 per cent of the population of dogs in a particular district.

Mzere, therefore, appealed to organizations and other well-wishers to come forward with assistance so that the district can record the 80 percent target.

“With the little resources we have, we are going to target places where we know are prone to rabies due to influx of stray dogs,” he said.

Mzere then disclosed that the anti-rabies vaccine exercise will be done after the national launch, which will be conducted in two weeks’ time.


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