More than 40 people, mostly children, were bit by stray dogs in Khipro last month. Three children died in Dhalyar union council because there was no anti-rabies vaccine at government hospitals.
Shortage of vaccines at the taluka hospital and other basic health units has made the matters worse while the authorities have not started any drives against rabid dogs despite regular complaints.
The dog bite cases have been reported from the union councils of Khipro, Ronjho, Khahi, Dhalyar, Hathongo, Qazi Faiz Muhammad Rajar, Khorri, Bilawal Hingoro and Kamil Hingoro.
Locals say scores of stray dogs are wandering about in the towns but the municipal administration has not taken steps yet. They claimed that the dogs used to eat dead animals after floods and now were attacking people.
Anti-rabies vaccine is only available at the basic health unit in Malook Maher where about 30 to 40 patients visit monthly. “The vaccine is being provided by the Peoples Primary Healthcare Initiative,” Dr Bhagwandas Shivkani told Sindh Express. “Thirty-seven dog bite victims turned up at the unit [in July] and most of them were children.”
He claimed that there was an acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccine at all hospitals, even at taluka hospital Khipro. All hospitals are referring such patients to the Malook Maher health unit, he added.
The Malook Maher basic health unit is about 25 kilometres from Khipro town.
“We are not provided anti-rabies vaccines [by the government],” said Dr Girdari lal Khatri, the medical superintendent of Khipro taluka hospital.
The relatives of dog bite victims complain that the municipal administration was not serious about the issue. They demanded that the authorities ensure the availability of vaccines immediately.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2012.