Friday, November 4, 2016

Nursery Two Pupil Dies Of Rabies After Dog Bite

The Lagos State Police Command has detained a dog breeder on Rufus Olaniyan Estate, Irawo, Ikorodu, Lagos, in connection with the death of a five-year-old boy allegedly killed by one of the dogs under his care.

Punch Metro learnt that the suspect, identified as Lola Jonathan, was apprehended by the police at the Owode Onirin Police Division and transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in Panti, Yaba.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, in a text message confirmed the arrest to a Punch correspondent on Thursday.

“The case was not reported promptly for investigation. However, the suspect has been arrested and taken to the SCIID. Investigation is ongoing,” she said.

It was gathered that the dog and 18 others were in Jonathan’s care as his father, who owns them, barely lived on the estate.

The boy, Jomiloju Odukomaya, was reportedly returning from a shop, where he had gone to buy a packet of biscuits on August 8, when the dog pounced on him and bit him in the left hand.

He was said to have contracted rabies from the dog bite and eventually died on September 18 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba.

Jomiloju’s mother, Mrs. Patience Odukomaya, lamented that neither Jonathan nor his father show concern for the family over the death of the Nursery 2 pupil, calling on the government and human rights groups to take up the matter.

She said, “I took him to a clinic immediately the dog bit him and the wound was treated. About two weeks after, he started exhibiting some strange signs. He screamed, barked and was drooling at the mouth.

“I took him to Randle Hospital on September 13 and a test conducted on him showed that he had contracted rabies. The hospital referred us to the LUTH. He died five days after.

“While he was receiving treatment, Jonathan came to check on him at my shop. But when he learnt that he was dead, he stopped coming and pretended as if the dog wasn’t his. I have lost my home; I don’t want to lose justice. My husband blamed me for the incident; whereas that was not the first time Jomiloju would go to buy things himself,” she added.

Patience said she had been moving from one place to another with her one-year-old daughter since September 19 when her husband sent her packing because of the matter, adding that Jonathan was adamant to admit that his dog bit Jomiloju.

 “Three weeks ago, I went to the house. The moment he (Jonathan) sighted me, he ran inside. I went to the Owode Onirin Police Station and a policeman followed me there. He didn’t come out. The policeman couldn’t enter because his dogs had been unleashed on the premises. They are about 19. He was eventually arrested on Tuesday.”

When a Punch correspondent visited the residence last Thursday, Jonathan’s neigbour, Hamzat Olawale, said he was not around.

He said, “When he (Jonathan) learnt that a dog bit the boy, he visited his mother because he is friendly to everybody. I also sympathised with her. She didn’t allow the boy to have proper medical treatment.

“Besides, there is no evidence to show that it was our dog that bit the boy. Several dogs do come into our compound to play with ours. She thought it was our dog because we used to visit the boy to know his health condition. We have 19 dogs and no one has ever complained that the dogs bit them.”

When the correspondent went back to the residence on Sunday, Olawale said the case was already with the police.

The Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, Dr Alao Mobolaji, who confirmed that Jomiloju died of rabies, called for stronger legislation on dog rearing.

He said, “The mother has received post-exposure immunisation against rabies because the boy bit her before he died. Dog owners should always ensure their dogs are vaccinated against rabies. They should patronise veterinary doctors. They should not allow their dogs to stray around the neighbourhood. Jomiloju’s case is just one among many.”


  1. The mother of the child did the right thing.
    He took the boy to hospital because of a dog bite but the doctor that the boy saw messed up.

    The doctor ought to have explained to the mother the potential risk of her son developing rabies and the doctor should have asked the mother to report the case to the police as the dog ought to have been detained for observation.

    During the observation, if the dog showed unusual behaviour and/or the dog was found not to have been vaccinated against rabies, then the dog should have been killed and the brain of the dog examined for rabies particles(Negri bodies). This should have been done for the purpose of quickly putting the boy on anti rabies if need be.

    Had this boy been promptly and quickly put on anti rabies vaccination/medication within 1-2 days of the dog bite, he could have survived, though surviving rabies is very rare especially if the person that was bitten has not been given anti rabies vaccination prior to the bite.

    Rabies is a viral infection with almost 100% fatality rate in those unvaccinated against the causative virus. People, when unvaccinated against rabies, rarely survive rabies infection.

    Please, if any one is bitten by a dog, that dog must be captured and observed for unusual behaviour. The person that was bitten must be quickly taken to the hospital and if possible started on anti rabies within 1-2 days especially if the dog cannot be captured.

    In Nigeria, apart from dogs, bats can also pass rabies to people, and so one should avoid and never go near bats.
    Other animals(rarely seen in Nija) that can pass rabies to people are skunks, foxes, and raccoons.

    The virus that causes the rabies are in the saliva of infected animals and once those animals bite people or even spit on people, the virus then find its ways to the nerves of the person that was bitten and them quickly move to that person's spinal cord and brain.
    Once the virus start traveling along the nerves of the person that was bitten, it is 'sure banker' that the person will die.

    So, dog bites need to be taken seriously. It is a public health issue.

    All the 19 dogs in that household should be detained and checked for unusual behaviour. Also their immunization records too should be ascertained. This case is more than putting the owner in detention.

    If all the 19 dogs are healthy, then a serious search must be made for the dog that is responsible for bitting this boy.
    The responsible dog is likely to die or may have even died from the rabies, but it could still be loose, roaming around, and could cause more death in that community.


    1. Chai 1000000 likes for this post,olu you too sensible.
      Da brutally honest babe says so.Stay Blessed.

  2. Why couldn't the silly dad give the boy proper medical atention

  3. Dog owners should ensure they keep their dogs properly. Which kind yey thing be this