KARACHI: Medical experts urged the government to declare rabies a health condition in the country to help eradicate the disease.
Addressing an awareness seminar on Saturday, they regretted that little has been done for rabies prevention and management despite the disease’s reputation of being one of the deadliest tropical diseases.
The event was jointly organised by the health committee of the Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Society of Neurology and Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation to mark World Rabies Day that is commemorated on September 28 every year.
Aga Khan University Hospital’s Dr Muhammad Wasay Ali Shakir, Jinnah Postgraduate and Medical Centre’s (JPMC) head of emergency department Dr Seemin Jamali and Prof Abdul Hakim Jokhio from Nawabshah’s People Medical University said that timely and properly administered vaccination can save the victims of rabid dog bites from death.
An estimated number of 150,000 people are bitten by rabid dogs in the country every year, while only 5,000 to 7,000 cases are registered, said the doctors.
They said that once the government makes it mandatory for all health facilities to report these cases, an effective strategy could be developed to counter the situation.
Jamali mentioned that rabies has been eradicated from many parts of the world and is mainly Asia-specific now with most cases being reported from South Asia.
She said that JPMC alone has received more than 5,000 dog bite victims at its emergency department with three deaths during the past three months.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2014.
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