Dog bite cases on the rise in Sindh

A dog bite is a bite forced upon a person or another animal by a dog. More than one consecutive bite is often considered as a dog attack. The majority of dog bites do not cause injury, deformity, disease or permanent handicap, but some can result in severe complexity. Substantial dog bites affect many millions of people worldly each year. It is assessed that 2 percent of the U.S. population, about 4.5-4.7 million people, are bitten by dogs every year. Rabies results in the death of roughly 55,000 people a year, with maximum of the causes due to dog bites.
More than 92,000 cases of dog bite had been reported across Sindh province during the year. The straining relation with neighbouring India had created a severe shortage of its vaccine as a Chinese company had shut down its operations. Dog bite is a severe problem and rabies is highly perilous and such matters need serious thought to organize plan to protect people. The Sindh government guarantees availability of nonstop supply of anti-rabies or dog bite vaccine at all health facilities across the province. Regulating dog population is only answer to get rid of life- menacing rabies infection. Sindh hospitals had 6,029 vials of vaccine in stock. The Chinese company from where Pakistan would purchase this vaccine has been shut down because rabies had been wiped out in China. In India, Pakistan cannot get this vaccine currently because of serious restriction over Kashmir issue. Most victims of dogs bite were children because children were physically exposed to save themselves from hazardous attacks by stray dogs. The accelerating population of dogs is much serious problem in cities areas since cities crowd jammed populations that could not live when so many stray dogs were wandering free in districts. The government in this context should invest in sterilizing the stray dogs, which was cost effective than spending money on vaccination against rabies. Approximately 69,000 cases of dog bite had been reported in Sindh last year. In excess of 100 cases are being reported in the city’s hospitals alone. Excluding Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, vaccine for dog bite was not available in any government health facility.
More than 250,000 stray dogs were in Karachi. Badin district was also seriously affected by the prevalence of dog bite. Vaccine for dog bite was not available in the rural health centres. Majority cases of dog bite were reported from Benazirabad and Larkana districts. In excess of 12,000 cases of dog bite had been reported from Benazirabad on the other hand 4,000 cases were stated from Shikarpur, 2,750 from Jacobabad, 7,000 from Dadu and more than 1,000 from Thatta district. Increasing prevalence of dog bite cases was a clear indication that the government had failed in its job to protect people from all sorts of perils. In this context dogs should be exported to the countries where people eat them. Considering the rise in dog bite cases and the lack of anti-rabies vaccine in Sindh, lawmakers have suggested sending stray dogs to China. The suggestion came as the Sindh Assembly discussed on a resolution moved by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA Dr Seema Zia to guarantee the availability of ARVs in all health centres and hospitals in the province.
Pakistan has been countering a huge shortage of anti-rabies vaccine by about 800,000 dosages surrounded an increasing population of stray dogs and almost non entity of facilities in the rural parts of Sindh to face the challenge. The health doctors and officials think that the entire country was insufficient of the ARV, the situation in Sindh is deteriorating in Karachi alone more than 150 dog-bite cases are being reported to major city hospitals on a daily basis and no movement is observed on ground for the restriction of the threatening and control of the population of stray dogs in Karachi and rural areas of the province. There should be a united effort for a rabies-free Sindh. Karachi alone past year recordrd more than 7,500 patients of dog bites. Indus Hospital has been treating 30 to 40 dog-bite cases daily. While anti-rabies vaccine is not available in any place of Sindh in the interior of Sindh, cases from rural parts of the province are directed to Karachi’s major hospitals. The hospital puts the blame of a serious shortage of the ARV in the country as a primary reason stopping proper treatment of the victims. The people related with the vaccine imports point out reasons for the shortage. There is universal wide crisis regarding the availability of anti-rabies vaccine after the ones produced by China were not found encountering the safety concerns. In the failure of Chinese vaccine, India became the only country to fill the space. However, these days India is not able to meet their own demand so they have reduced the ARV exports to other countries, which include Pakistan also. The condition demanded quick moves from the government to meet the problem. The officials consent with the worries over shortage of vaccines, which is a general problem being faced by the country hospitals, but what worry them most in Sindh is the rise in population of stray dogs. The fast-increasing populations of stray dogs have been continuously pushing the number of dog-bite victims, mostly children, even in Sindh big cities areas. The Sindh government should take fast measures to make Sindh rabies-free and involve a comprehensive policy. It is sad that children are the primary victims of stray dogs, both in urban and rural Sindh. Presently, free of cost anti-rabies vaccination is available at three major health facilities of Karachi city, including Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Civil Hospital Karachi and The Indus Hospital

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