Thanjavur: Government of India is investigating whether Goa state system (Mission Rabies model) can be expanded to the rest of the country to make India rabies free as per World Health Orgnisation (WHO) deadline of 2030, said Dr. Murugan Appu Pillai, director, Education, India, Mission Rabies, here on Saturday.
Speaking at a seminar on elimination of rabies and dog population management at Thanjavur Medical College, Murugan said that ‘Mission Rabies’ in collaboration with Government of Goa is working very hard to eliminate rabies virus from Goa state during the last five years, to make Goa rabies free and keep the dogs safer for humans.
“This is a marathon task, but we are successful to a great extent,” said Murugan. He suggested vaccination of dogs, education and awareness among students, teachers and people, enhanced surveillance, rabies test etc for eliminating the rabies virus both from animals and people. “It is not that only stray dogs carry rabies virus. Pet dogs also carry virus. Virus carrying is 42 per cent in pet dogs. People should understand this and vaccinate the animals i.e. pet dogs,” Murugan said. With respect to stray dogs repeated vaccinations by identifying uncovered animals in an area will be helpful. “Vaccination of 70 per cent of both pet dogs and stray dogs leads to herd immunity protecting the entire population,” he said.
“With respect to Goa, we have set the deadline of 2020 to put an end to man carrying rabies virus, 2023 for eliminating dog-carrying virus and 2025 to declare Goa as rabies free,” he added.
The director also said that low awareness of the need to seek health care after a dog bite claims the life of more than 55,000 people each year globally out of which 20,000 deaths are from India. Hundreds of children die of rabies worldwide every day. “Washing the bite wound with soap and water is the best first aid followed by four ARV injections,” Murugan suggested.
Kumudha Lingaraja, dean of Medical college inaugurated the seminar. Dr. M. Singaravel, former dean, Dr N. Arumugam, vice-principal of the college, Dr A. Bharathi, Medical Superintendent, Thanjavur Medical College Hospital, Dr A. Vinoth, assistant professor of Medicine, TMCH also spoke. Dr C. Paranthakan, professor, department of Medicine, TMCH welcomed the gathering. S. Varadarajan, Rotary Club of Thanjavur Mid-town, proposed a vote of thanks....