Rabies National Disease Burden: Identifying Key Issues, Developing Solutions
April 01, 2013
A joint meeting was arranged by WHO, Director General Health Services Punjab, CDC, Institute of Public Health Lahore, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore, Director General Live Stocks, Infectious Disease Hospital Lahore, Executive District Officers – (Health) Punjab.
A seminar /workshop was organized by above mentioned authorities to overcome the increasing number of death toll due to rabies. Rabies is a 100 % fatal disease which is usually transferred from the saliva of dog. According to an estimate > 5000 people die due to this horrific disease each year in Pakistan. Recent report published by WHO on Neglected Tropical Diseases contains exclusive data and roadmap to be adopted by different authorities especially for the developing countries.
Dr Quaid Saeed from WHO endorsed the need to adapt a multidisciplinary approach from each sector including Live stocks ,University of veterinary sciences and medical authorities both public and private. He said ”By the end of 2016 we will reduce the disease burden by half and by the end of 2020 we would be able to declare our country free from rabies”
Dr Zarfishan Tahir, Bacteriologist Punjab cum Principal of Rabies Control Project Punjab declared the road map and certain strategies to achieve the mutual goal along WHO sustaining the collaboration with government health services department CDC,University of veterinary sciences and infectious disease hospital.
The session was moderated by Dr Shahbaz Rafiq he also threw light on a new strategy known as Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (vaccination prior to dog bite )for the children living in the endemic areas.
Prof. Dr. Talat Naseer Pasha, VC university of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore shared a multidimensional strategy to control the animal reproduction simultaneously reducing the rabies transmission among animals, Dr. Anjum Bhutta, Dr. Nusrat Noman from (IPH) elaborated the current practices and myths involved in the treatment of rabies victim. Deputy Director Live Stocks and Executive District Officers from the Sub-urbs of Punjab also shared their point of view in controlling this devastating disease.
Dr Shahid Ikram, MS Infectious Diseases Hospital shared that during 2012 he received 304 suspected cases of rabies and none of them survived as they have developed the early symptoms from where there is no return .
In the end an Advisory Board of Technical Committee was announced to formulate the region specific guidelines and legislation which will then be put forward to national assembly .
P.S: We are just trying to Highlight this issue as maximum as possible and bring it to extant like the Govt. did for Dengue and Measels. Any query in this regard is welcomed at the numbers mentioned.