Karachi: Dog bite cases in the city have assumed an alarming proportion and it could be gauged from the fact that around 200 such cases are reported daily in Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and Civil Hospital Karachi (KCH).
Confirming that between 75 and 85 dog bite cases are reported at JPMC daily, an official of the health facility’s emergency department said that most of the victims of dog bites are generally children and elderly persons.
He said that most of the dog bite cases are reported from North Karachi, New Karachi, North Nazimabad, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, New Karachi, Baldia, Orangi, Keamari, Mehmoodabad, Liaquatabad, Federal B Area, Golimar and Surjani.
He deplored that although dog bite cases in the wake of growing population of stray dogs have been continuously increasing in the city every year, the municipal agencies which earlier used to launch anti pye-dog campaigns periodically have abandoned such practice a long time ago.
According to the official, who wished not to be quoted, said that of the total 6,500 dog bite cases reported at Dog Bite Clinic during 2015, 12 rabies patients had died.
Giving year-wise figure of dog bite cases, he said that in 2014, there were 5,192 cases; in 2013 (3,879); in 2012 (3,450); in 2011 (2780); in 2010 (2,445); in 2009 (2,158).
He said although rabies is a fatal disease, it can be prevented by vaccination. Anti-rabies vaccination is costly but available for patients free of cost at the JPMC, he added.
He advised the people in case a dog bites, clean the wound at once with soap and water for 10 to 15 minutes and then rush victim of dog bite to nearby healthcare facility for vaccination.
According to CHK Rabies Clinic’s in-charge Dr Bashir Rajput, about 9,168 dog bite cases were reported in the hospital in 2015. He said that the health facility on an average receive 70 to 80 dog bite cases daily.
He said there is no shortage of vaccine at the CHK Rabies Clinic.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Medical Association’s (PMA) finance secretary Dr S.M. Qaiser Sajjad described the rising dog bite incidence `a very serious issue’.
He said majority of animal bite cases involve stray dogs, therefore, it is imperative that a campaign should be launched to control the growing population of street dogs.
He urged the civic authorities and health department to launch anti pye-dog campaign across the city and ensure availability anti-rabies vaccines at health facilities.