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Easier way to prevent rabies,drive from February

Vaccination against rabies will be less painful,less expensive and more effective from next month with civic authorities embracing a modern technique that has already eradicated the disease from 14 countries.

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune |
January 21, 2009 1:21:08 am

Vaccination against rabies will be less painful,less expensive and more effective from next month with civic authorities embracing a modern technique that has already eradicated the disease from 14 countries. The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will launch the programme in February; the Pune Municipal Corporation is yet to announce a date.

Once someone is bitten by a stray dog,the practice till 2004 was to give the person 14 injections in the abdomen. Since 2005,the practice has been to give six 1-ml injections. “Under the latest technique,a person bitten by a dog will need four injections,each a mere 0.1 ml,in the arms,” said Dr Rajshekhar Iyer,PCMC medical director.

“With the intra-dermal cell culture rabies vaccine,the dose is smaller,the injections are fewer and the cost is lower. One vial is enough for at least three persons. Earlier,every dog-bite victim had to buy a vial worth Rs 350 each,” he said. In civic hospitals,though,the existing vaccine is given free of cost.

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases has sanctioned Rs 35 lakh to Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad,among the cities selected for the pilot project. “The amount will be shared by PMC and PCMC depending on the number of average annual dog bite cases. Whoever has the large number of cases will get the bigger share of funds,” Dr Iyer said.

Anil Roy of PCMC and Sunita Kulkarni of PMC have received training in the new technique. “They are now training other doctors,” said Dr Iyer.

PMC medical officer N D Thakur said,“We have not yet decided a date for the campaign.”

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