YANGON, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar has introduced a program of vaccinating 1 million dogs in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw this year as part of its efforts to eradicate rabies in the country, according to the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD) Sunday.
The project is being extended to high risk areas in Mandalay and Bago regions and Rakhine state where there are many stray dogs.
Myanmar targets to eliminate rabies by 2030.
Myanmar saw about 200 deaths from rabies annually and about 40 percent of these victims are children under 15 who were bitten by suspect rabid dogs.
"If we can vaccinate at least 70 percent of stray dogs, then it will greatly reduce the risk of them contracting rabies," official media the Global New Light of Myanmar said Sunday.
In cooperation with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the LBVD had drawn up and approved the National Level Strategic Framework for Eliminating Rabies in August 2018.
At an event in Nay Pyi Taw Saturday, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr. Aung Thu said marking the World Rabies Day that rabies is a 100 percent fully preventable problem and fatalities can be reduced by vaccinating household pets.
Meanwhile, Myanmar's Yangon municipal authorities have been implementing a project to remove stray dogs from the downtown areas after serious concern arose from the public as many stray dogs were roaming freely in the areas.
The stray dogs were being sent to dog shelters in the outskirts of the city.
There are more than 10,000 registered pet dogs in Yangon region, while the region's stray dog population is estimated at about 150,000, according to the Yangon municipal authorities.