By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Dec 21: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has clarified that Sarawak has vaccinated about 50 per cent, or about 100,000, of its 200,000 dogs against rabies to date, contrary to the figures given by Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye yesterday.
Dr Lee was quoted by various national media as saying Sarawak only managed to vaccinate some 1.3 per cent of its 300,000 dogs. However, it was later clarified that he was misquoted, and actually meant one-third, which is around 35 per cent.
Even then, Uggah, who is also minister-in-charge of the State Disaster Management Committee, insisted that the figures were still wrong and advised Dr Lee to get the facts right so as not to cause confusion.
“I wish to advise them (federal ministers) to be careful with their statements and to get their facts right so as not to cause confusion.
“In fact, we (Sarawak) have vaccinated almost 50 per cent of our 200,000 dogs population. We have vaccinated about 100,000 dogs in Sarawak,” he told reporters after the Food Processing Entrepreneurship Course (Baking and Frozen) Certificate Presentation Ceremony here this morning.
Uggah explained that Sarawak aimed to be rabies-free within three years and to have vaccinated at least 70 per cent of its dogs by then.
“Our objective towards rabies-free areas is to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of our dogs population, and we have mobilised our people, recruited additional staff, and they are on the ground. I understand soon Sabah will also come and help us.
“So, we want to vaccinate as many dogs as possible. At the same time, I’m calling upon dog owners to vaccinate their dogs, for the interest of everyone.” — DayakDaily