Shortage of anti-rabies vaccines hits hospitals across country

Kathmandu, May 2

Hospitals across the country continue to face acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccines due to the government’s failure to procure the vaccines on time.

“We are currently facing acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccines. We are using vaccines from the hospital’s pharmacy,” said Dr Manisha Rawal, director, Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku. The hospital has been vaccinating 6,000 patients against rabies a month.

The vaccines were provided to the hospital by  Epidemiology and Disease Control Division earlier. “We currently have 10,000 vials of anti-rabies vaccines. Therefore, we haven’t been able to distribute the vaccines to district  hospitals. The Ministry of Health has therefore asked the local levels to procure the vaccines themselves to deal with the shortage,” said Dr Kedar There  is a demand for 1,000 vials of anti-rabies vaccine per day in the  country.

The problem arose after the earlier tender for the procurement  of the vaccines was cancelled. Later, another tender was  announced. Dr Century said it would take another 15 days for EDCD to  resume normal supply of the vaccines.  “If we jointly work to manage stray dogs, then we can dramatically reduce dog-bite cases,” added Dr Rawal.