'ACT NOW' for Rabies free India by 2030: S Honnappagol

Pashu Sandesh, 07th July 2018

On the occasion of World Zoonotic Day, Association for Prevention and Control of Rabies in India (APCRICON) is organizing a two day conference at New Delhi on 7th and 8th July. The theme of the conference is “Rabies free India by 2030: Action begins now”. The opening ceremony was attended by the Chief Guest J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family welfare, Dr Preeti Sudan, Secretary Health, Health Ministry GOI and Dr Suresh S Honnappagol, Commissioner Animal Husbandry GOI and other dignitaries for the occasion.

In his elaborated speech Dr S Honnappagol highlighted the problem of Rabies in India and the measures for its containment and eradication.

Excerpts from the speech of Dr Suresh S Honnappagol:

  • As per Basic Animal Husbandry & Fishery statistics (2015) GOI , in India annually there are 8086 deaths in animals due to rabies. However, the actual figure is more than this as most of the cases in the rural areas go undetected.
  • Dogs play a major role in transmission of the rabies to human beings and other animals including Livestock. Thereby the disease is not only of Public health but also of Economic importance to the Farmers.
  • Cat bites can also transmit the rabies in Humans as recently reported. But mostly bites by Animals other than Dogs are neglected by the concerned.
  • Extension activities have to be strengthened in rural areas on ‘Dos and Don’ts’ in case of rabid animal bite.
  • Confirmatory diagnosis of Rabies is important and OIE Twinned Rabies Diagnostic Lab, Veterinary College Bangalore supported by DADF, Government of India is playing major role in strengthening diagnosis of Rabies in Animals in India.
  • One of the major limitations in Rabies diagnosis in Animals is submission of Brain samples from the carcasses of the suspected animals due to difficult and cumbersome conventional method of Brain sample collection and the recently held training program at Veterinary College Bangalore on sample collection through Foramen Magnum has infused confidence among field Vets.
  • One Health based approach with respect to ‘Rabies diagnosis and treatment is getting strong with the involvement of Veterinary and Medical fraternity.
  • Good initiatives have been made in Goa, Chattisgarh and Bangalore wioth respect to rabies control in Dogs.
  • As a part of WHO- APCRI India multi centric survey on rabies was carried out in Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands to detect rabies in Dogs and Cats.
  • Mass Vaccination of stray dogs in India.
  • Effective intersectorial cooperation involving all stake holders including the community.

Commissioner concluded the speech with the following inspiring words “Chance favors the prepared mind! So let’s ACT NOW for Rabies free India by 2030”.