Aweil West: Parents compelled to buy anti-rabies to treat children in gov’t health centers

The lack of anti-rabies is forcing parents to purchase the life-saving drugs from private clinics to treat dogs bite at government health facilities in Aweil West County, Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.

Doctors are struggling to treat atleast 4 children who were reportedly attacked and bitten by stray dogs in the area.

They have been admitted at Nyumlel and Chelkou health facilities.

The administrator of Nyumlel Primary Health Care Center who is treating the children said the facility does not have adequate amount of anti-rabies. The vaccine is reportedly not available in almost all the public health centers.

“We have children bitten by dogs and we have dressed their wounds though we don’t have anti-rabies drugs for treating the dogs bites at the hospital here,” said Lual Khamis Lual.

He said the parents of the children are being asked to purchase the drug from local pharmacies. The anti-rabies cost 50,000 South Sudanese Pounds at private clinics.

“The only option we are remaining with is to send these children to Aweil so that their parents can go and buy the drugs at the private clinics because we don’t have them at the County level” Khamis added.

The Director General of the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Aleu Pioth Akot told Akol Yam FM that the state has run out of anti-rabies drugs.

Last week, residents of Aweil town called for the extermination of stray dogs that they say have gone wild. The calls were triggered by reports that at least 7 people were attacked by stray dogs in Maper West.

They say that there are several staggering dogs loitering the streets of Aweil town. Some could be carrying rabies.

Rabies is usually spread through an animal bite. Animals most likely to spread rabies include dogs, bats, coyotes, foxes, skunks, and raccoons.

Once bitten, rabies can cause fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion. It can result in death of treatment is not immediately sought. A vaccine can prevent infection.