News / Africa

South Sudan's Other Health Hazard: Stray Dogs

A dog's muzzle is held shut by a volunteer as the animal is vaccinated against rabies in Tanzania. (Courtesy/Serengeti Carnivore Disease Project)
A dog's muzzle is held shut by a volunteer as the animal is vaccinated against rabies in Tanzania. (Courtesy/Serengeti Carnivore Disease Project)
Bonifacio Taban
— South Sudan has been faced with a number of problems since it became the world's newest nation in July 2011.

Oil exports, the backbone of South Sudan's economy, have been halted over a row with Khartoum over pipeline fees.

Refugee camps are full as fighting continues in some border areas.

Politicians have been accused of rampant corruption. Flooding has wiped out harvests in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, leaving many children vulnerable to malnutrition. Rebels led by former ally, David Yau Yau, have launched deadly cattle raids, killing more than 100 people last month alone.

And now, an oft-overlooked problem is also plaguing the South Sudanese: it's stray dogs, some of which carry the potentially deadly rabies virus.

Last year, at least 20 people in a single county in Unity state died of rabies after being bitten by stray dogs, according the officials at the health ministry.

This week, officials say seven people were treated for dog bites in Bentiu, the capital of Unity state.

"We gave them anti-virals and now they are well, all of them," said Dr. Sabino Andrew Amum of Bentiu state hospital.

Stray dogs are legion on the streets of Bentiu, and the mutts strike fear into many residents.

"These roaming dogs, they are dangerous for human beings... especially  kids," said Bentiu resident Peter Gaw Ngundeng.

"They normally attack young boys. My fear is that if they continue increasing in number and roaming around, then they are dangerous for our children.”

Botino Malual Kok, Director General of the state Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries, called on the police to kill stray dogs, saying that they pose a danger to both city dwellers and to rural pastoralists.

“These street dogs are the ones who cause rabies and they are very dangerous," he said.

"Sometimes they bite animals and we know the people of Unity state, most of them keep livestock.”


Rabies is most often transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, and one species, such as dogs, can infect another, such as humans.

In dogs, symptoms of rabies infection range from aggressive behavior and frothing at the mouth, to paralysis and lack of coordination.

In humans, early symptoms are similar to those associated with flu, but the illness progresses within days to produce symptoms including "cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, agitation.... delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, and insomnia," the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

Once clinical signs of rabies appear in humans, the disease is "nearly always fatal," the CDC says.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid