Anti rabies campaign gathers momentum

KATHMANDU: With the alarming toll figure resulted due to rabid dogs, National Zoonosis and Food Hygiene Research Center and Kathmandu Animal Treatment Center have jointly started the vaccination of street dogs and spaying of female street dogs in the Valley.

A study of Veterinary Public Health Office, Tripureshwor puts the number of street dogs in Kathmandu around 26,000. They are the principal transmitter of the rabies to humans.

Dr Bodh Prasad Parajuli, chief, VPHO, said, “More than 100 people die and 40 to 50 thousand take the anti-rabies injection after being bitten by the rabid dogs across the country every year.”

The worldwide figure is further alarming as rabies claims lives of 35,000 to 40,000 people — mostly in developing countries like ours — annually.

“During our campaign that kicked off in February, we’ve vaccinated more than 6,500 dogs,” said Arjun Aryal, a veterinary doctor at NZFHRC. “Each morning we vaccinate more than 150 street dogs and we have plans inject as many as 10,000 dogs by the end of this year.”

“We search the female dogs three days in a week and spay them. We’ve spayed more than 6,500 dogs,” said Kiran Pandey, veterinary doctor at KATC. “After our operation, we’ve realised that the number of street dogs in the Valley has decreased which can be felt while wandering on the streets””

According to Parajuli, the government has also set a target to declare the country””rabies-fre”” by 2027. “If we give up the tradition of remembering rabies only on World Rabies Day (September 28) and intensify anti-rabies campaign in such a way, then the target will definitely be achieved””

Besides the dogs infected with the disease, it is also transmitted to humans from rabid jackal, fox, bat.