Byline: Hasan Mansoor
KARACHI -- Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho on Tuesday informed the provincial legislature that more than 92,000 cases of dog bite had been reported across Sindh during the year; adding that the tension with neighbouring India had created a serious shortage of its vaccine as a Chinese company had closed its operations.
'Dog bite is a serious problem and rabies is highly dangerous and such matters need serious thought to strategise our plan to protect our people,' said the minister while speaking at a private resolution moved by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's Seema Zia.
Her resolution demanded that the Sindh government ensure availability of uninterrupted supply of anti-rabies or dog bite vaccine at all health facilities across the province.
'Controlling dog population is only solution to get rid of life-threatening rabies infection'
Dr Pechuho said rabies was not caused by just a rabid dog, but in many parts of the province it was also inflicted by rabid jackals, etc.
She said 92,159 cases of dog bites had been reported from across the province till June 30; while the hospitals had 6,029 vials of vaccine in stock. 'The Chinese company from where we would purchase this vaccine has been closed down because rabies had been eradicated in China. In India, we cannot get this vaccine at present because of serious constraints over Kashmir issue,' said the minister.
She said the controlling dogs' population was the only solution to get rid of the life-threatening infection.
Commenting on certain recommendations that were furnished by various lawmakers earlier, Dr Pechuho said even after vaccination, it was hard to know about which dogs were vaccinated because they were social animals which moved in packs. She said most victims of dogs were children because children were physically vulnerable to save themselves from dangerous attacks by stray dogs.
She said vaccinating or neutering dogs were the methods that were not cost effective. Still, efforts were needed to be taken to control alarming increase in their population.
She said the local government ministry and the municipal bodies in Sindh had the primary mandate to take up the issue, which had become terrifying nowadays.
'The increasing population of dogs is much graver problem in our urban areas since cities host congested populations that could not live when so many stray dogs were roaming free in our neighbourhoods. This issue has turned into a menace now,' said the...