WORLD VETERINARY DAY
ON THIS DAY LET’S RESOLVE TO GET RID OF THIS DEADLY DISEASE BY TAKING APPROPRIATE MEASURES, WRITES HENNA HAMADANI
IN 2000, World Veterinary Association (WVA) instigated "World Veterinary Day" to be observed every year, on the last Saturday of April, as an annual celebration of the veterinary profession.
'2011' which marks 250th anniversary of the veterinary profession has been declared “World Veterinary Year" and this year veterinary professionals from around the world will join together on April 30 to raise awareness of the profession's role in rabies prevention and control. The WVA, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) have joined forces to promote this year's theme of rabies prevention.
Rabies is the most fatal infectious disease in the world. It is a zoonotic disease (a disease transmitted to humans from animals) that is caused by a virus. The disease infects domestic and wild animals and is spread to people through close contact with infected saliva via bites or scratches. Bats are also the source of most human rabies deaths in the United States of America and Canada. Bat rabies has also recently emerged as a public health threat in Australia, Latin America and Western Europe. Human deaths following exposure to foxes, raccoons, skunks, jackals, mongooses and other wild carnivore host species are very rare. Human-to-human transmission by bite is theoretically possible but has never been confirmed. Rarely, rabies may be contracted by inhalation of virus-containing aerosol or via transplantation of an infected organ. Ingestion of raw meat or other tissues from animals infected with rabies is not a source of human infection.
Rabies is present in all continents with the exception of Antarctica, but more than 95% of human deaths occur in Asia and Africa alone. Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is nearly always fatal. Despite being 100 per cent preventable, it is estimated that 55,000 people die worldwide from rabies each year, approximately one person every ten minutes: half are children under the age of fifteen. 99% of human cases are caused by bites of dogs. In India, 20,000 rabies deaths (that is, about 2/100,000 population at risk) are estimated to occur annually; in Africa, the corresponding figure is 24,000 (about 4/100 000 population at risk).
This perhaps is also the most significant issue as far as our society is concerned. Dogs are the main host and transmitters of rabies and we find them on prowl everywhere; be it hospitals, colleges, offices, colonies, children parks or even primary schools. The population of dogs in any part of our state is somewhat comparable to human population. So the fate of a seven year old alone on a street full of rabid dogs is unthinkable and yet not unheard of. Ironically our hospitals have become breeding places for stray dogs. Patients as well as attendants and doctors face severe threats of infections. Be it SMHS or Lalla-Ded hospital, we find dogs loitering the corridors, outside the operation theatres and practically everywhere. A new born is first introduced to these canines as soon as it enters the world of mortals. Would you call that animal friendly nature of Kashmiris? Certainly not! So the need of the hour is to save our society of this menace.
"Prevention at the animal source is the key strategy in dealing with rabies, and veterinarians are therefore crucial to its control," according to the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC).Recommended first-aid procedures include immediate and thorough flushing and washing of the wound for a minimum of 15 minutes with soap and water, detergent, povidone iodine or other substances that kill the rabies virus. Post-exposure prevention can be done by local treatment of the wound, administration of rabies immunoglobulin (if indicated), and immediate vaccination. Animal vaccination remains the method of choice to control and eradicate rabies. For ethical, ecological and economic reasons the killing of potentially infected animals should not be considered to be the sole method for control and eradication of rabies. As a matter of fact all successful rabies eradication campaigns in the developing world have combined population control of in-excess stray dogs and systemic vaccination of owned dogs.
The government is a major body and hence has most responsibility which it doesn't seem to be living up to. Sterilization of street dogs in veterinary hospitals and clinics was one step that could have changed the whole story but unfortunately even when such plans are made, they are restricted to paper only and implementation is virtually nonexistent, as a result the dog population is increasing exponentially. Concrete steps in this regard have to be taken and strict execution is mandatory. Public too has its role to play by being vigilant and aware of first aid techniques. So as we observe the "World Veterinary Day" today, let's together help our society get rid of rabies.
(Henna Hamadani is from Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, SKUAST-K, Shuhama, Alusteng)
Lastupdate on : Fri, 29 Apr 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 29 Apr 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 30 Apr 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM OP-ED
Islamabad, Apr 29: Director General of Police (DGP), Kuldeep Khoda on Friday said the State Government had received 700 applications from the families of the youth who want to return from the Pakistan More
- Srinagar City
ERA SAYS WORK CAN’T BE COMPLETED BEFORE MAY 20
GK CITY CORRESPONDENT
Srinagar, Apr 29: The ongoing inconvenience for people particularly tourists flying to the summer capital will last for around a month more as Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), which is constructing More
Jammu, Apr 29: The State Cabinet which met here yesterday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah confirmed recommendations of the Cabinet-sub-Committee about renaming the CD More
Srinagar, Apr 29: The State Hajj Committee on Friday said the all Hajj aspirants for 2011 who have applied for Hajj Pilgrimage are hereby informed to collect their cover numbers from May 5,2011 to More
REZAUL H LASKAR/PTI
Islamabad, Apr 29: Pakistan today agreed to take immediate steps to implement a non-discriminatory trade regime with India even as the two sides announced they would work on steps to boost trade in electricity More
PRINCE WILLIAM MARRIES KATE IN GLITTERING CEREMONY
London, Apr 29: Prince William and Kate Middleton married at Westminster Abbey on Friday in a sumptuous show of British pageantry that attracted a huge world audience and injected new life into the monarchy More