KZN premier to lead rabies awareness campaign in KwaMashu

KZN has recorded 233 cases of rabies and seven human deaths in January.

KZN has recorded 233 cases of rabies and seven human deaths in January.

Published Apr 29, 2024


KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube will on Tuesday lead a widespread rabies awareness campaign in the KwaMashu township north of Durban.

According to the provincial government, since January 2023, KZN has recorded 233 cases of rabies and seven human deaths. In total, 17 people have died of rabies with the majority of the deaths occurring in eThekwini.

“Unnecessary human deaths can be prevented if pet owners take the responsibility of vaccinating their pets,” said Dube-Ncube.

The National Institute For Communicable Diseases of South Africa (NICD) said rabies is a viral infection of the nervous system reported in different wild and domestic animal species, but most cases of rabies in South Africa involve domestic dogs.

The NICD said while human rabies cases are rare in South Africa, cases are still confirmed annually.

“Humans are exposed to rabies through bites (and other wounds) inflicted by rabid animals. The virus is contained in the saliva of a rabid animal. Most human rabies cases in South Africa are associated with domestic dog exposures. Although a fatal infection, rabies can be controlled through vaccination of domestic dogs (and cats) and the use of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis in exposed human cases,” said the NICD.

The KZN government will also be launching Township Agriculture, which aims to maximise food production in small spaces.

Township Agriculture also promotes a healthy ecosystem and increases biodiversity in urban areas.

The provincial government added that Township Agriculture seeks to empower women, to support child-headed households, those living with disabilities and the youth.

“An amount of R6 million has already been set aside to assist township farmers to start their crop and animal projects. The programme will be rolled out to all major townships in KZN.”

The Mercury