News: On the occasion of World Rabies Day today, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying unveiled the National Action Plan for dog Mediated Rabies Elimination by 2030 (NAPRE).
- The Ministers urged all the States and UTs to make Rabies a notifiable Disease. They launched “Joint Inter-Ministerial Declaration Support Statement” for Elimination of Dog mediated Rabies from India by 2030 through One Health Approach.
- Man is not an isolated animal and acquire diseases from animals who are also nestled in their environment. Outside of human purview, animals fight and amongst each other enabling viral transmission. Only a holistic approach to health keeping in mind human-animal interaction and their broader interaction with the environment can help alleviate such challenges.
- Earlier people did not venture out beyond a radius of 20-25 kms which has drastically changed with the advent of modern life. This has facilitated an individual for overnight inter-continental travel with layovers enabling him to come in contact with a wide range of people of various backgrounds in different countries resulting in quick and uncontrolled transmission.
- Zoonotic diseases like Rabies claims the lives of people in their prime denying the family of their earning member.
- The menace of Rabies in rural life although villagers refer to the disease as ‘Hadakwa’ unfamiliar with the English name. The mere mention of ‘Hadakwa’ induces terror in rural areas.
- Villagers will actively come forward when they understand that Rabies translates to ‘Hadakwa’. They will actively help the government in this noble endeavour. Although each Rabies death is preventable by vaccine, there are no medicines once the disease develops in a human.
- Rabies is 100% fatal but 100% vaccine preventable. 33% of global rabies deaths are recorded in India. National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with its rich experience in tackling zoonotic diseases like Nipah, Zika, Avian flu and surveillance of diseases like influenza, hepatitis would play a great role in Government’s effort to boost One Health approach.