Kathmandu, Sept.28: Nepal has set a target to reduce Rabies cases to zero by the year 2030.
According to Krishna Prasad Poudel, Spokesperson at the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), being part of the tripartite agreement, between the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Health Organisation (WHO) and OIE-WAHIS, World Organisation for Animal Health Nepal also has set the target to reduce Rabies cases to zero by the year 2030.
“For that, Nepal has initiated administering free anti-Rabies vaccines to all the primary health centres across the country for two years in order to reach the target of zero rabies cases by 2030,” he said.
Today, Nepal is celebrating Rabies day with the slogan, “Rabies facts, No Fear” across the country.
According to Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, a total of 295,000 vials of ARB Rabies vaccines have been administered in Nepal in the fiscal year 2077/78, 236,022 in 2076/77, 281,718 in 2075/76, and 227,639 in 2074/75.
Dr Roshika Shrestha, Veterinary Officer at the Division informed that there are three degrees of mammals bite, first, second and third, causing Rabies in Nepal. Irrespective of the degree of severity of the bite, or even if the dog is vaccinated with the anti-rabies vaccine, one must get the anti-rabies vaccines at the earliest.
“This will prevent rabies death, which are on average 100 annually, as rabies is 100 per cent preventable with vaccination,” She said, “ARB vaccine is administered for first and second-degree bites and 'Rabies immunoglobulin’ is administered for third-degree bites. So far, there is the administration of 'Rabies immunoglobulin’ in Teku Hospital only.”
Prevention of Rabies
“One must try to wash the bite of a dog, even though it is vaccinated, with warm water and soap for 15-20 minutes, and must use 70 per cent alcohol-based sanitiser. This will wash away 90 per cent of the germs,” said Dr Binay Shrestha, One-health Expert.
Saying that 90 per cent of cases of Rabies in Nepal and in South Asia are because of the dog bite, Dr Binay stressed that there is a must to vaccinate dog’s especially stray dogs with the anti-Rabies vaccine to control rabies cases in the country.
“Dog’s acts as an agent of rabies in Nepal, however, the reservoir hosts are Jackle, therefore, not only vaccinating dogs but also reducing the bite of Jackle to dogs must be focused upon,” he added.