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'Over 20,000 people die every year of rabies in India'

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  • 'Over 20,000 people die every year of rabies in India'

    'Over 20,000 people die every year of rabies in India'
    Naveen Kumar, TNN 27 September 2009, 09:31pm IST

    VARANASI: Believe it or not but more than 60 per cent of rabies patients in the country are not aware of basic preventive method of washing the
    wound with soap and water. Even more interesting is to note that less than 50 per cent of these patients come for receiving anti-rabies vaccines, while others keep their lives at stake.

    "These reports have surfaced in the recent study of Association of Physicians for control of Rabies in India", said Dr Arvind Singh, one of the senior members of the association working for control of rabies in the region.

    On the eve of World's Rabies Day (on September 28) on Sunday, he said that the disease, inspite of being 100 per cent preventable, is still taking a heavy toll of lives especially affecting the poor. The disease is causing over 20,000 deaths annually in the country.

    As the disease mainly affects the poor, it has yet not attracted enough attention and is still to be declared a noticeable disease, he added.

    He said that lack of surveillance mechanism and long post exposure prophylaxis of the disease make it a costly affair for poor patients. He emphasised on the growing need to spread awareness for prevention of the disease that is 100 per cent fatal.

    "There is an urgent need for establishing more centres for ensuring easy accessibility of anti-rabies vaccines, as majority of people still have to rely on government centres that are located at far off places", he said. Referring to recent reports of association that suggest that only 2.1 per cent of rabies patients in the country are able to afford the costly human rabies immunoglobulin (anti-rabies vaccine), he stressed on the need for injecting intradermal vaccine doses instead of intramuscular doses, as these doses could be given to 10 rabies patients in a single vial.

    We have to also consider the fact that the disease is putting a heavy financial burden on patients and ensuring cost-effective methods of treatment would definitely bolster the situation, he added.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/n...ow/5062869.cms
    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.
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