India on World Rabies day on September 28 unveiled the National Action Plan for dog Mediated Rabies Elimination by 2030 (NAPRE)) for elimination of Dog mediated Rabies from the country by 2030.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya and Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala unveiled the National Action Plan for dog Mediated Rabies Elimination by 2030 (NAPRE) On the occasion of World Rabies Day,
The Ministers urged all the States and UTs to make Rabies a notifiable Disease.
Mandaviya noted; “Man is not an isolated animal and acquire diseases from animals who are also nestled in their environment. Outside of human purview, animals fight and amongst each other enabling viral transmission. Only a holistic approach to health keeping in mind human-animal interaction and their broader interaction with the environment can help alleviate such challenges.” He also observed that environmental factors like rainfall, heat-wave can also contribute to the trajectory of the pathogen and the disease which calls for more research and greater awareness in this area.
Reminding everyone of the outbreak of Corona virus, he said, “earlier people did not venture out beyond a radius of 20-25 kms which has drastically changed with the advent of modern life. This has facilitated an individual for overnight inter-continental travel with layovers enabling him to come in contact with a wide range of people of various backgrounds in different countries resulting in quick and uncontrolled transmission.”
Addressed the launch of the 'National Action Plan for Dog Mediated Rabies Elimination'
Through enhanced inter-ministerial coordination, emphasising One Health & building holistic ecosystem, Govt under PM @NarendraModi ji's leadership is moving towards eradicating rabies by 2030. pic.twitter.com/wqnlQwUjyo
— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) September 28, 2021
He also spoke on the human cost extracted by the disease. Drawing from his own experience of contracting a zoonotic disease while treating an animal, he acknowledged that most victims of the disease are those who in their most productive years of their life. “Zoonotic diseases like Rabies claims the lives of people in their prime denying the family of their earning member,” he said.
Rupala alerted those present of the menace of Rabies in rural life although villagers refer to the disease as ‘Hadakwa’ unfamiliar with the English name. He said, “The mere mention of ‘Hadakwa’ induces terror in rural areas. Villagers will actively come forward when they understand that Rabies translates to ‘Hadakwa’. They will actively help the government in this noble endeavour”. He advised the senior officials present to use the more familiar term ‘Hadakwa’ in popularizing the activities to be taken up under the Plan.
He also suggested undertaking extensive IEC to make people aware of the difference between vaccine and medicine with regard to Rabies; many people are confused and mistake the vaccine, a precautionary step with medicine, a curative solution after the onset of the disease. Although each Rabies death is preventable by vaccine, there are no medicines once the disease develops in a human.