A least 1016 people in Luwero fell victim to animal bites during the financial year 2022/23, according to the District Health report on mortality and morbidity report. Of these, 478 people sought urgent anti-rabies treatment from local health centers after being bitten by stray dogs.
Additionally, 538 people reported being bitten by domesticated animals. Furthermore, the report also shows that 75 individuals required hospitalization due to snake bites. However, the report does not specify any confirmed fatalities resulting from these incidents.
Dr. Innocent Nkonwa, the Luwero District Health Officer, says that the affected residents sought anti-rabies treatment from Luwero Hospital, Kalagala Health Center IV, and Nyimbwa HC IV, all equipped to provide the necessary medical care. He emphasized the importance of involving veterinary officers in initiating comprehensive vaccination initiatives.
One case that stands out is that of Alon Ssembabulidde, a resident of Nsaasi village in Luwero sub-county. Ssembabulidde recounted a distressing encounter where he was attacked and bitten by a stray dog on his way home from the garden. Struggling to find available and affordable anti-rabies treatment at Luwero Hospital and private clinics, Ssembabulidde resorted to alternative herbal remedies.
Milly Namutebi, another resident affected by this issue, shared her concern about her child’s encounter with a stray dog. She revealed the financial strain of the 150,000 Shillings cost for the required anti-rabies treatment.
Eddie Zziwa, the District Councilor for Luwero sub-county, disclosed that authorities had taken proactive measures by petitioning the district veterinary office for an extensive vaccination campaign. However, this effort yielded no tangible results, leaving the issue unresolved.
In response to the escalating problem, Chris Johns Buwembo, the LC 3 Chairperson of Luwero town, announced a decision to address the threat by considering the poisoning of stray dogs. The intention behind this drastic measure is to safeguard the residents from the ongoing threat of animal bites.
Despite the gravity of the situation, Timothy Kasule, the Luwero District Veterinary Officer, opted not to provide comments when approached for insight into the matter. The community now grapples with these challenges as they await further actions to mitigate the risks associated with animal bites.