Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday directed the J&K Government to ensure proper supply of anti-rabies medicines and injections in all districts of the state to cure dog bite cases.
Hearing the PIL on dog menace, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey remarked that rabies can prove fatal if timely medication is not given to the patient. “So we direct state government to make it available at every district hospital,” court said.
Advocate Nadeem Qadri informed the court that delay in management of animal bite can lead to death. He said that to save precious lives, rabies treatment drugs must be made available on regular basis at every health center and hospital at village, block, tehsil and district levels.
While presenting his 15-point suggestive report before court, he mentioned that Human Rabies Immunoglobulin injection costs around Rs 5000 and each victim needs 1-2 vials, while Equine Rabies Immunoglobulin costs around Rs 500 each vial. Government hospitals only provide an anti-rabies vaccine which is not in regular supply.
He said that the drugs should be accessible on subsidized rates and free provision should be given to patients who can’t afford to treat rabies due to costly treatment.
The 15-point-suggestions of Advocate Qadri also include: Mobilization of community participation, Need for proper solid waste management, dumping and cleaning of garbage, spay-and-neuter model — where both male and female dogs are taken from the street, sterilized, vaccinated, and returned to their original area, Vaccination campaigns (annual or bi-annual) may be combined with continuing vaccination schemes for young dogs or be carried out as the only measure of mass immunization, WHO advice on animal birth control/neutering and anti-rabies vaccination programmes (ABC-ARV) etc.
Meanwhile, Dr Sheema Samreen, through a digital presentation showed some horrifying dog bite pictures of children. She said, “There is no mechanism in hospital so that the dog bitten victims could be treated in a good manner. The vaccine which is specially used for protecting rabies is not available in hospital.”
She further added that dog menace impact is mostly on children as they do not know how to communicate with these animals. “With the result, they become victims and are mauled by the animals easily,” she said.
The court while taking the report of SMC (Srinagar Municipal Corporation) on record directed them to hold awareness programmes regarding the immediate treatment of a rabid dog bite.
Justice Durrez said, “SMC also has to take a call in proper disposal of waste as per Waste Management rules 2016.”