Durban - The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is calling for the R3 million budget, set aside to deal with the rabies scourge, to be repeated for the next three years.

It said the funds made available last year “has laid a foundation to suppress the disease but not stop it”.

After the death of a 6-year-old child in iLembe, the department made available R3m for an intense awareness campaign to take place and the purchase of vaccines.

It is believed the outbreak started in the King Cetshwayo district (northern coast of KZN), spread south to the Ilembe District and to Durban.

At a sitting with the portfolio committee members at the KZN Legislature on Tuesday, the department provided feedback saying that 86 349 pets were vaccinated in iLembe, eThekwini and King Cetshwayo District municipalities.

However, the interventions do not seem to have yielded the desired results with positive cases continually being reported.

At present, vaccinations are running in all key areas “even though at low levels”.

Awareness materials, in Zulu and English, are being issued and the department has made available 22 vehicles to Veterinary Services.

The department also employed 52 more staff and has advertised more posts, with nurses and doctors being trained on the management of dog bites and rabies.

Welfare organisations and local authorities are participating in rabies control sessions.

Daily News