Peripheral hospitals without anti-rabies vaccines

Situation alarming, lower rung officials blame higher-ups

Waseem Ramzan

Srinagar, Jan 14: Most of the district and sub-district hospitals across valley are without anti-rabies vaccines leaving the patients vulnerable to rabies virus.
Over the months, there is reportedly increase in dog bite cases, but given the lack of adequate vaccines in peripheral hospital, the patients have been left at God’s mercy.
Sources in Health Department said that the District Hospital Kupwara, Sub-District hospital Handwara and many sub-centers are without such vaccines. “These vaccines are not even easily available in the market. This is alarming situation which the officials seem least bothered,” he said.
The source said that the quantity of vaccines available are only for those patients who suffer severe dog-bites in head. “It can’t be given to those with other minor or major injuries,” he said.
Director Health Services Kashmir Dr Kunzes Dolma said that she has raised the issue at Secretariat Level.
A doctor at one of the anti-rabies clinic said they lack the immunoglobulin injections pushes them to ask patients to buy them from private dealers at high price.
According to doctors, rabies immunoglobulin is a prime medicine for patients with single or multiple bites or scratches, licks on broken skin and contamination of mucous membrane with saliva from licks. However, they said some other patients, with lower exposure, also need the injection. (KNS)