1,000 people at Delhi’s RML Hospital for anti-rabies shot in a day #dogbite#straydogs

Until last year, Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital used to get around 200 patients daily for anti-rabies vaccination. This number has grown manifold over the last six months and on Monday it crossed 1,000. Hospital authorities blamed the unavailability of anti-rabies vaccine at state and municipal corporation-run hospitals for this surge and said if the vaccine wasn’t made availabile at all centres soon, it could lead to a fullblown crisis

“There is a limit to how much we can stretch our resources,” said Dr V K Tiwary, the medical superintendent of RML hospital. At Safdarjung hospital also, which is run by the Centre, officials said there has been significant increase in the rush of patients for the vaccination. Anti-rabies vaccine is needed to prevent the development of disease in persons who have been bitten by an infected animal, The first dose of anti-rabies vaccine has to be injected within 24 hours of the bite — the sooner the better. However, people who had queued up at RML on Monday said they had been running from one hospital to the other in search of the vaccine but to no avail. “I went to two government hospitals in east Delhi. Both said they didn’t have the vaccine. I cannot afford private treatment,” said Kavita Singh, a resident of Mandavali, east Delhi. While government hospitals give anti-rabies vaccine for free, it costs nearly Rs 1,500 for five jabs at private facilities. For patients with severe and deep bite, the administration of anti-rabies serum is required in addition to the vaccines, which costs above Rs 2,000. Authorities in at least two big state-run hospitals — Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB) in East Delhi and Lok Nayak in central Delhi — confirmed the crisis. “For the last two weeks, there is no anti-rabies vaccine in our hospital,” Dr Arvind Mohan, deputy medical superintendent of Lok Nayak hospital said. He claimed the shortage is from supply side itself. “The vaccine shortage has been there for almost six months but we were managing things by making local purchase initially. Now, even the local suppliers have given up,” Dr Mohan said. Dr Sunil Kumar, medical director of GTB hospital also confirmed they are also running short of anti-rabies vaccines. “We are issuing tenders to purchase the vaccine,” he said. There is no anti-rabies vaccine at municipal hospitals either, senior civic agency officials from both the north and the south corporation confirmed. “The government manufacturer is not supplying the vaccine from last few months due to nonavailability. Patients are either being told to purchase it privately or being referred to other hospitals,” said an official ,Delhi, as per the last annual report of all municipal corporations combined, had witnessed over 27,407 dog bite cases from February 2018 to February 2019. South Delhi was worst affected. Real numbers are expected to be much higher as the figures do not include patients that go to private clinic or hospitals that are not bound to report, said a source. In April, Safdarjung hospital had stopped accepting new cases of dog-bite due to the rush. “Situation has improved a little over the last few weeks. But steps are needed to restore or arrange supply of the vaccine in all anti-rabies clinics to avert crisis situation,” a doctor said.

“Dog lover” but lack love towards human child? #straydogs #Rabies #dogbite #infections

In a very recent incident, while out  for a routine morning walk in a Delhi park, I was suddenly jolted by violent barking sounds of dogs. The loud barking sounds were intermixed with cries of a child. I just saw the child running and screaming  for his life. Two stray  dogs were near him,  trying to hunt  him as a prey. As they got nearer to him, I somehow managed to get some stick from a plant and managed to save the child and shoo away the dogs. The nine year old child just clung to me, almost pale, dizzy and his eyes closed with fear. His football was in his lap, which he was trying to use as shield. A shield which society, government, courts and so called “dog-lovers” failed to provide. This child must be the life for his parents and could have been in a great trouble that day because of apathy of few “Animal Lovers”. For whom animal love is like a hobby to be projected for hollow public applause. I looked around, a gentleman was comfortably sitting  with his small dog and reading newspaper. He did not even bother to look at what was happening. He was the person, who used to feed these stray dogs and claimed himself to be a “Dog lover”.  He was totally unperturbed by the fact that a child was about to lose his life because of these wolf like dogs roaming freely. Fed by him, the stray dogs were like friends to him and used to attack others who did not feed them, or were new or  oblivious to the danger. What was bothering was his apathy to the child and victims  and the fact that he continued to feed that violent stray, unperturbed during  the incident.  Similar apathy has been displayed by government and courts with a result that thousand suffer from dog bite every day.

Is it not hypocritical that you care for a violent stray who is a threat to the society? Problem is not about loving and feeding dogs, but simultaneous apathy towards safety of humans.  Such dog lovers most of the time, totally ignore the fact that these dogs are a threat to children and older people. An immediate  sense of hatred towards such dog lovers is a consequence and  a natural thought.

Apart from the injury part, Rabies is a disease spread by dog bite, which is not treatable. Getting anti-Rabies serum becomes another Herculean task.

Courts have also upheld animal rights. That is right  but they did not formulate  policies to ensure guard safety of  humans from these violent strays.

           Government has not made out any policy to safeguard public from such attacks nor have courts come up with any solid guidelines, which can save public, children, women and older people from such bites.

Animal lovers  while pretending  of “dog love” have  formed NGOs and have  donations and accumulate money. But have failed to create shelters for stray dogs. Neither have any steps been taken to save people from dog bites. So consequently, people especially vulnerable are children and older people who are mauled and eaten alive by stray dogs. What responsibility and accountability these animal lovers and NGO bear towards such incidents? Why people who collect money in name of animals do not take care and form shelters for these strays? every single death from  such preventable cause raise a question on this issue.

    Apathy of these so called dog lovers towards humans is appalling. 

Besides dog bite and injuries, animal and dog poop is an health hazard. Following are the diseases which occur in community because of animal poop.

Problem of animal poop with dust : It is all around us.  It is actually even a bigger health problem than open defecation by humans. Humans defecate in country side and in open fields. But stray animals and dogs are everywhere. Even owner of pet dogs make them defecate outside their own houses and on the roads and wherever their dogs chooses. This poop dried and mixed with dust, acts a source of infection to the community.

       Life threatening infections : dog’s and animal faeces is a big health hazard. It is even worse than a dog bite since it spreads infection in entire community. A dog’s digestive system can handle just about anything that it eats and this makes its poop very toxic. Animal faeces contain pathogens, which are known to cause severe diseases, infections and organ failure. These heavy loads of bacteria increase the risk of infections in the community. But pregnant women, children and people with suppressed immune systems may are more prone to these infections. Many diseases may be spread by millions of these dogs and other animals like pigs, cattle as their faeces contain parasites, bacteria and viruses. These include life threatening bacterial infections by E. coli, MRSA, Leptospira, Salmonellosis, Campylobacteriosis, brucellosis, Rickettsia and parasitic infections like  Giardiasis, Whipworm, Hookworm, Roundworms, Tapeworms,    Cryptosporidiosis, Echinococcosis, Leishmaniasis etc. Viral infections like rabies, influenza and other viruses may also spread through these animals.

Environmental health Hazard: Storm water runoff due to extensive rainfall can wash off all these droppings into drains, many of which are connected to river systems and water sources in our country. This can lead to a widespread source of waterborne illnesses. Dry  poop on the roads is mixed with dust particles and in the air. So everyone is living in a highly infectious environment.  This may be an important cause of high rates of community acquired infections among our population.

SUGGESTION: the Government, NGOs  and people who claim to be “animal lovers” should create shelters to save strays “as well as people”. It should be mandatory that all the  dog and animal (stray or pet) droppings are properly collected and disposed off. This single step can do wonders as it will reduce infections, people’s suffering, save lives  and eventually reduce use of antibiotics. A rationale mind will definitely appreciate the danger due to strays, and can initiate proper steps rather criticizing above said facts in the name of animal rights. An animal has no sense of responsibility, so rights  should be limited accordingly.

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