The Kerala government on Tuesday announced that model anti-rabies clinics will be opened in all medical colleges and district and general hospitals across the state. The model clinics are being opened to bring all the systems of treatment, being provided to those suffering dog bites, under one roof and counselling and awareness would also be given to such patients, state Heath Minister Veena George said here.
The significant announcement comes at a time when the stray dog menace continues to trigger fear and anxiety among people of the southern state. Each 'model clinic' would comprise a washing area to clean the wound, a clinic area, facilities for vaccination and a place for dressing the injury, she said. Anti-rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin, a medication made up of anti-bodies against the rabies virus, would also be made available there.
Detailing the government's various awareness programmes in this regard, the minister said the state-level inauguration of this year's World Rabies Day would be held at Government Arts College here on September 28. George herself would inaugurate the programme while Transport Minister Antony Raju would preside over the function, an official statement here said.
"This year's World Rabies Day assumes immense significance in view of the increasing number of dog bites in the state. The Health Department is trying to create awareness about rabies infection, alleviate concern among people and prevent deaths due to it," she added. As many as 573 government centres in Kerala have anti-rabies vaccine facilities at present and 43 state-run institutions provide immunoglobulin, she said.
The Kerala Health Department had recently launched special anti-rabies vaccination for staff of various government departments who come in direct contact with the animals including dogs as part of their official duty. The objective was to check the possibility of getting infected while dealing with the animals during its vaccination and sterilisation, it had said.
(With PTI inputs)