News, Regional News

Another boy succumbs to rabies as Sindh faces acute shortage of vaccines

KARACHI: Another eight-year-old boy, Rizwan, son of Ramzan, from Shikarpur succumbed to rabies at the Indus Hospital, Karachi. He died due to the non-availability of anti-rabies vaccines in interior Sindh hospitals.

Team Lead, Rabies Control Program, Indus Hospital, Karachi, Muhammad Aftab Gohar, informed that this was the fourth rabies patient that was brought to Indus Hospital, Karachi, for treatment. He reported that Rizwan, a resident of Union Council Karam, Shikarpur district, was brought with full-blown rabies and was not immunized in time following being bitten by a rabid dog a few months prior.

He said that four people had already died due to this lethal dog-born disease at the Indus Hospital, Karachi. Owing to an acute shortage of vaccines in government hospitals across the Sindh province, Rizwan could not receive an anti-rabies vaccine following the dog-bite. His condition was too critical, which is what led to his sad demise, Gohar stated.

He informed that the limited stocks of anti-rabies vaccine are only available at the Indus Hospital, Karachi, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, and the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, Karachi, as the government was not importing the vaccine from India and other countries due to unknown reasons. Gohar said that rabies is a uniformly fatal disease in which the dog bite victim will die if not given immediate and proper care.

Gohar proceeded to state that the number of victims had been rising progressively, and ‘we are presently treating over 25-30 new cases per day.’  He informed that more than 3500 dog-bite cases had been reported at the Rabies Centre since 1st January 2019 out of which four people had lost their lives.

Rabies has caused five deaths in Karachi so far out of which three were reported in the Indus Hospital, Karachi, and one in the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

Earlier, an 11-year-old boy from the Sanghar district of Sindh died due to the lethal dog-borne disease at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) just recently.

May 17, 2019

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