Acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccine hits Karachi

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Acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccine hits Karachi

August 2, 2019

KARACHI:Acute shortage of life-saving anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) at Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) has forced poor patients to buy it from open market, causing tremendous hardships to them in saving their lives.

Around 80 to 120 people, including women and children, are bitten by dogs were brought in CHK each day for vaccination but Anti-Rabies Vaccine (ARV) is not available in the hospital since last 10 days due to poor supply of vaccine.

The CHK rabies centre is one of the largest centers of Sindh province, where around 100 persons daily, including fresh and old victims of the dog bite, are given ARV shots as well as Immunoglobulin to prevent them from contracting rabies.

Medical Superintendent, CHK, Dr Khadim Hussain Qureshi, while talking to PPI, confirmed the shortage of anti-rabies vaccine due to non-supply of vaccine from supplier. He claimed that the suppliers offered them the Chinese vaccine, but secretary health Sindh did not approve the idea.

He informed that the contractor had been directed to supply 1,000 anti-rabies vaccines on urgent basis to overcome their shortage. He said incidents of dog bite were common in Karachi city and hospital urgently needed vaccine to cater to dog bite victims.

On the other hand, limited stock of anti-rabies vaccine is available in Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and Indus Hospital Karachi while rest of city hospitals are running without vaccine. The poor patients have been compelled to procure it from open market, causing tremendous hardships to them in saving their lives.

More than 18,000 dog bite cases were reported in the first seven months of 2019 from January to July in Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Indus Hospital Karachi and other hospitals.

The rabies is a disease that on the one hand is 100 per cent fatal, but on the other, it is also 100 per cent vaccine-preventable. It has no cure if a person gets a full-blown viral infection and it is a viral illness that is transmitted to humans if they are bitten by a rabid animal, mostly dogs.

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