Thanjavur: Health and well being for all people at all ages is the third United Nations sustainable development goal which includes ending the burden of neglected tropical diseases such as rabies by 2030. Mission Rabies, Worldwide Veterinary Service, is an international NGO financed by Dogs Trust, UK, and working as per the recommendations of World Health Organisation (WHO).
Loss of human lives due to rabies is put at 59,000 per year in the world. Rabies is a notoriously underreported and neglected disease of low income countries. It is a fatal disease and survival after onset of symptoms is almost zero. Rabies is largely transmitted to humans through bites by infected animals predominantly from bites of dogs. But the disease is entirely preventable through prompt administration of post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to bite victims, mass vaccination of dogs and the like.
“Rabies is still prevalent in developing countries with limited access to health care. The disease is also grossly under reported in these areas as victims die at homes. Because of this, insufficient priority is given to rabies in health agendas. But Rs 15,000 crore per annum is spent on rabies treatment in India. This amount can be saved if the disease is prevented. Moreover, HIV, Hepatitis and influenza which are only three decades old are getting more priority than rabies which is nearly 3000-year-old disease” rued Murugan Appuillai, director, Rabies Mission (education) India.