A week-long Mass Dog Vaccination (MDV) in the two city corporations will begin from May 14 as part of the country’s move to eliminate rabies by 2022.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque inaugurated the programme at Krishibid Institute on Thursday.The two city corporations will conduct the programme with assistance of Health and Family Welfare Ministry’s Zoonotic Disease Control Programme Communicable Diseases Control (CDC) unit, World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization.
Dr Abul Kalam Azad, director general of Directorate General of Health Service, presided over the programme while Dr Sania Tahmina presented the keynote paper on ‘Rabies Elimination in Bangladesh: Achievements and Way Forward’.
Tahmina said that before 2010, more than 2,000 rabies-related deaths were estimated to have occurred in the country. In more than 95 percent cases, dogs were found to be the single most important cause of transmitting rabies followed by cat, jackal etc.
MDV’s goal is completion of at least three rounds MDV throughout the country by 2022 for achieving elimination of rabies by the estimated time.
“There’re an estimated 1.6 million dogs in Bangladesh with over 80 percent of them roaming free with animal exposure of around 400,000-500,000 human cases and that of around 50,000 cattle annually,” she added.Maleque said that rabies is a dangerous disease that spreads with dogs bites. “We won’t kill dogs. We’ll prevent the disease through vaccination,” he said.
State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru said that dogs help us in various ways so we should not kill them. “If we vaccinate them properly and raise awareness among people, then we’ll be able to eliminate rabies from the country,” he said.
Dr Umme Ruman Siddiqui, deputy director of CDC, said in her welcome speech that rabies will be eliminated from our country by 2022 before achieving Sustainable Development Goals-2030.
Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam, Director General of Department of Livestock Services Dr Hiresh Ranjon Bhowmik, noted journalist Syed Abul Maksud and Sher-e-Bangla Agriculture University Vice-Chancellor Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed, among others, also spoke there.