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September 30, 2018

Rabies notified as ‘priority zoonotic disease’

National

September 30, 2018

Islamabad: Pakistan has recently notified Rabies as a ‘priority zoonotic disease’ and the National Institute of Health (NIH) is in the process of establishing a surveillance system for nationwide reporting of rabies cases, with an emphasis on provincial coordination.

The Executive Director of National Institute of Health, Dr. Aamer Ikram shared this piece of information at a walk organised by National Institute of Health on Friday to raise awareness about the prevention of rabies, a zoonotic disease that kills 2,000 to 5,000 people in Pakistan every year.

‘Share the Message: Save a Life,’ was the theme of a walk, which coincided with World Rabies Day observed every year on September 28.

The walk was attended by students of different universities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, along with the staff and students of the College of Medical Laboratories Technology (CMLT), and senior officers of NIH and WHO. It was led by Dr. Aamer Ikram.

The Mobile Unit of NIH was sent to distribute printed awareness material to educational institutes and the general public.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Aamer said, National Institute of Health is producing Cell Culture Anti-Rabies Vaccine and Anti-Rabies Serum, whuch is supplied to government hospitals and dispensaries throughout the country on demand base.

He also praised the efforts made by the Ministry of National Health Services to strengthen the public health system.

Rabies spreads to people through close contact with infected saliva via bites or scratches.

Dogs are the major source of human rabies deaths. According to the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, over 59,000 people die of rabies every year worldwide, and millions have to seek life-saving treatment.

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