Goa: First Rabies-free state

Goa has become the first Rabies-free state of India. According to Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, state has not reported a single rabies case in last three years.

Highlights

  • Chief Minister highlighted; Goa has achieved 5,40,593 vaccinations against rabies in dogs.
  • State has also educated nearly a lakh people about dog bite prevention and has set up 24-hours rabies surveillance which comprise of an emergency hotline and rapid response team for dog bite victims.
  • Task of controlling rabies was being carried out by Mission Rabies project which is a central government grant.

Mission Rabies

It is a charity, initially founded as an initiative by Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS). It is a United Kingdom-based charity group which assists animals. Mission Rabies works with ‘One Health approach’ which is driven by research to eliminate dog bite transmitted rabies disease. It was launched in September 2013 with the objective of vaccinating 50,000 dogs against rabies in India.  Rabies has estimated to kill 59,000 people annually. Mission Rabies teams have vaccinated 968,287 dogs since 2013. Organisation has worked in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Goa, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, and Assam.

About Rabies

As per WHO, Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that occurs in about 150 countries and territories. Dogs act as the source of majority of human rabies deaths. Dogs are responsible for contributing up to 99% of rabies transmissions to humans. In Asia and Africa regions, low awareness regarding the need of health care after dog bite takes lives of about 55000 people per year. India is endemic for rabies with the burden of 36% of world’s deaths. 30-60% of reported rabies cases and deaths in India occur in children aged under 15 years because bite often go unrecognized and unreported.

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