Imphal/ October 07, 2023 (SPN) | Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Services Director, Dr. Ng Ibotombi, has announced India’s ambitious goal to eradicate rabies from the country by 2030.
He made this declaration during a seminar titled ‘Rabies in Animals and Humans,’ which took place at the Farmers Training Hall in the Sanjenthong Veterinary Complex.
The seminar was jointly organized by the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department, Directorate of Health Services, and the RIMS Department of Microbiology’s national ‘One Health’ program, which focuses on the prevention and control of zoonoses, infectious diseases that can be transmitted between species.
During his address to the audience, Dr. Ng Ibotombi highlighted that September 28 is observed globally as World Rabies Day, with the objective of eliminating this viral zoonotic disease from the planet.
Rabies has been a significant public health concern, causing an estimated 20,000 deaths annually in many developing nations of Asia and Africa, with little success in reducing the death toll.
In contrast, in India, the Veterinary and Health Department, along with various stakeholders, is actively working to eliminate this disease by 2030.
Dr. Ng Ibotombi emphasized the importance of taking precautions against rabies, cautioning that once a patient exhibits symptoms of the disease, it becomes challenging to save their life.
He also stressed the need for collaborative efforts among NGOs, government departments, urban local bodies, Panchayats, and members of dog lovers’ societies to implement preventive measures to eradicate rabies.
Dr. Ng Ibotombi outlined some of the precautionary measures, including ensuring that all pet dogs and cats receive the necessary anti-rabies vaccines. Additionally, individuals bitten or scratched by a dog or cat should immediately clean the affected area with soap and water and seek treatment at the nearest hospital.
Professor Dr. Khuraijam Ranjana Devi, Head of the Department of Microbiology at RIMS, mentioned that post-rabies vaccines are readily available free of cost at dispensaries and health centers to protect the public from this disease. Facilities are also in place to vaccinate dogs and cats before they are at risk of contracting rabies.
She emphasized that eradicating rabies would require a collective effort involving not only the Veterinary and Health Department but also all relevant stakeholders.
During the seminar, Dr. Ksh Roshan, State Surveillance Officer at IDSP, Health Services, discussed the ‘Scenario of Rabies in Manipur,’ while Dr. Shakti Laishram, Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology at RIMS, spoke about ‘Updates on Human Rabies Vaccine.’ Dr. Ng Ibotombi educated the audience about ‘Rabies in Animals and its Prevention and Control.’
Dr. Y. Gopalkrishna, Additional Director of Public Health at the Directorate of Health Services, also addressed the gathering. The event concluded with a discussion on the state action plan for rabies eradication.