Saturday, June 22, 2024
North East

Arunachal Pradesh taking steps to prevent spread of rabies

Itanagar, May 17: The health department of Arunachal Pradesh has decided to take all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of rabies in the state, officials said.
The northeastern state this year reported four suspected rabies deaths.
State Director of Health Services (DHS) Dr Riken Rina on Friday convened a meeting with various officers at his office to assess the status and preparedness of the health and family welfare department in response to rising dog bite incidents in the state.
Rabies has been a notifiable disease in the state since February 14, 2022, and all healthcare providers are mandated to report every suspected case to higher authorities, a senior health official said.
During the meeting, it was reaffirmed that the intra-dermal (ID) route of rabies vaccination and the administration of rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) to non-vaccinated category III bite cases must be prescribed by all doctors in the state.
In response to the rising cases of animal bite cases, the health department has initiated procurement of anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) and RIG, state nodal officer of the National Rabies Control Program (NRCP) Dr Lobsang Jampa said.
As of May 15, a total of 496 vials of ARV and 50 vials of RIG have been supplied to the anti-rabies clinic at Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science (TRIHMS). An additional 100 vials of ARV are currently being procured, Dr Jampa said.
Training of trainers (ToT) for ID vaccination and RIG administration was completed across all districts on March 8 this year, under the guidance of Dr Omesh Bharati, a pioneer in rabies prevention in India.
The integration of cold chain facilities for ARV and ARS with the routine immunization (RI) cold chain is being explored, the health official said.
Currently, over 97 per cent of animal bite cases in the state receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
The four suspected rabies deaths reported in 2024 occurred in cases where individuals did not seek medical attention and therefore did not receive PEP, Dr Jampa informed and added that the department has investigated all suspected rabies cases, ensuring necessary prophylaxis and action has been taken.
There are currently three model anti-rabies clinics in the state including the one at TRIHMS, one each at Baken Pertin General Hospital, Pasighat and Gyati Taga General Hospital at Ziro, offering free vaccination services.
The health department has advised the people to take every animal bite or scratch seriously and to wash the wound immediately with running water and soap for not less than 15 minutes, then report the case to the nearest health facility and complete their vaccination.
Proper sanitation and the prevention of garbage accumulation are essential to control the stray dog population.
It is also advised not to panic but to maintain caution as rabies is a cent per cent preventable disease with timely PEP, the meeting observed.
Dr R Krishnan, OSD to the DHS, additional state nodal officer of NRCP Dr D Taipodia, Consultant for NRCP Dr B Riram, and veterinary consultant for NRCP Dr M Mallo, were among others to attend the meeting. (PTI)

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