KARACHI- Dr. Ruth Pfau, Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) has been facing a shortage of Anti-Rabies Vaccines (ARVs), and many patients have been compelled to visit private medical centres for treatment.
Sources at CHK revealed that, about 50 to 60 new dog bite cases are being reported at Rabies Centre every day, while 60 to 70 patients visit for their follow up and vaccination, but unfortunately Rabies Vaccine isn’t available in the health facility. Due to this shortage, 50 percent of the new dog bite cases are forced to seek treatment from private healthcare facilities.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. These symptoms are followed by violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, the result is nearly always death.
The vaccine is expensive in the open market, whereas they are administered free of cost at Civil Hospital Karachi. An Anti-Rabies Vaccine is a must within 24 hours of being bitten by dogs and other animals. A dog bite victim receives 06 doses of vaccine during treatment.
So far, CHK has recorded more than 72,00 cases this year. The unavailability of budget has caused delay in purchase of vaccines.
CHK AMS, Dr.Arif Niaz, mentioned that the AR vaccine is being administered to selective dog bite victims, due to short supply. He informed that more than 150 old and new dog bite victims visit Rabies Centre daily, for vaccination.
He also added that, CHK administration has been spending millions of rupees annually for vaccination of such animals bite cases. He urged the concerned civic authorities to launch campaigns against stray dogs on an immediate basis.
Annually, 22000 to 23000 dog bite cases are reported throughout the city of Karachi and Anti-Rabies Vaccines are only available in 03 major hospitals, including Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Indus Hospital and Dr. Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, free of cost.