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One Of Teacher Kwadwo's Beloved Student Dies From Rabies   
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I just read a nightmarish post on Michael Owusu Afriyie's (Teacher Kwadwo) wall explaining how one of his pupils he loved so much just died of rabies from a dog bite. I'm deeply saddened.

Per his account, the health facility asked the deceased girl's mother to purchase anti-rabies vaccine for GHS350 but she rather took the girl home without getting the vaccine for her because she said she didn't have that amount for the vaccine.

While admitting that the finances of most people in rural areas is very limited, I have also noticed that the general attitude of people who are bitten by dogs (and therefore at risk of rabies) or cut/pierced by dirty sharp objects like empty tin tomato cans, thorns, bones in the bush, bicycle parts, etc. (and therefore at risk of tetanus) lacks urgency.

I blame this partly on the high cost of the shots required in such situations. Then also on ignorance, because most people think tetanus and rabies are so far off from them. In actual fact, they are not. They are closer than we would like to think.

I see some people also putting blame on the health workers - saying the health facility was wicked because they did not give the vaccine to the woman. Truth is, even in the cities, most hospitals hardly have the anti-tetanus and anti-rabies and anti-snake shots in their pharmacies because they're expensive and sometimes they expire because those cases are not so common. So what happens is, the vaccine +/- the immunoglobulin is prescribed for you to purchase from a pharmacy outside the hospital.

I don't know the details but I strongly believe that if the woman had proposed an arrangement to pay for the vaccine in installments, whoever was selling it would have agreed. I strongly believe also, that because the child was not manifesting any signs of rabies, she thought all was okay. But rabies is such that, once symptoms set in, death is 100% certain. Ideally, all dogs should be vaccinated against rabies. But you know our country already. The key therefore is in prompt post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) as soon as a dog bite is registered.

Let us do better for ourselves and the children whose health we are in charge of.

Rest well, little Grace Arthur. We failed you. Rest well.
Source: Kossi Akplah/facebook

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