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Wild Foxes and Dogs Terrorize Busia and Namayingo Districts

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Wild dogs and foxes have invaded the districts of Busia and Namayingo, causing widespread panic and infecting many with rabies over the past six months. This development has also raised concerns in neighboring districts such as Tororo and Mbale in Eastern Uganda.

In May, a fox attacked two families in Solo ‘C’ village, Western Division, Busia Municipality, injuring three children. The fox first attacked Amisi Dhikusooka, 12, and Dauson Mugwabi, 13, at around 10 PM before moving to another house and seriously injuring Miracle Akol, 3. Silver Kirya, the father of Dhikusooka and Mugwabi, said the fox entered through an open door while the family was having dinner.

Baraza-Patrick-Councilor-of-North-B-Ward-in-Busia-Municipality-speaking-to-the-press-on-Thursday-at-his-home-on-fox-attacks-in
Baraza-Patrick-Councilor-of-North-B-Ward-in-Busia-Municipality-speaking-to-the-press-on-Thursday-at-his-home-on-fox-attacks-in his area.

Another parent, identified only as Mandera from Solo ‘C’ village, expressed dissatisfaction with the government for not assisting with the medical treatment of his child, who was also attacked by a fox. Mandera has demanded compensation for his expenses.

Were Peter, a resident of Bumekwa village, Buwumba Parish, Dabani Sub County in Busia district, was attacked by a wild fox while taking his cow to drink water at Nasikori stream. According to Mangeni Nelson Kaka, the area LC1 Chairperson, Were is currently receiving treatment at a private clinic in Busia town.

In Namayingo district, Nawesa Agnes’s 4-year-old son was bitten by a neighbor’s dog that had been attacked by a wild fox. This incident occurred in Namayuge village, Namayuge Parish. Nawesa is relieved that her son is well after receiving the necessary rabies vaccines at the district’s Buyinja Sub Health District Hospital free of charge.

Information from the Busia District Veterinary Office indicates that 37 confirmed rabies cases have been registered in the past three months, with the actual number likely higher due to unreported cases. Senior District Veterinary Officer Dr. Patrick Barasa reported an increase in bites from foxes, jackals, civets, and mongooses, alongside the usual dog and cat bites. He noted that at least three animal bite cases are reported daily, mostly involving children and women.

Dr. Barasa confirmed ten animal bite cases in the last week, two of which tested positive for rabies. He revealed that six people have been attacked by jackals and foxes in Lunyo Sub County and Solo ‘C’ Village, Western Division. He emphasized that the entire district, particularly Busia Municipality and sub-counties like Dabani, Lunyo, Masaba, Masafu, Busitema, and Buhehe, has been affected.

Jimmy Ngolobe, the Busia District Natural Resources Officer, attributed the attacks to the encroachment on swamps and forests, which are natural habitats for these wild animals. He noted that heavy rains have flooded the swamps, forcing animals into residential areas.

Dr. Kiyemba Godfrey, a Senior Veterinary Officer in Namayingo District, confirmed a similar situation in his district. He reported an increase in dog and fox bites, with wild dogs crossing from neighboring districts like Busia, Bugiri, and Mayuge, and foxes emerging from local hills. Dr. Kiyemba disclosed that they have registered 18 cases of animal bites, mainly in the sub-counties of Buswale and Banda, with most victims being children aged 4-15 years.

By Juma Seyyid

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