High cost of rabies control
Rabies has affected many animals in Sri Lanka during the past six
months and the total number of animals found positive for rabies is 205.
The majority (172) of them were dogs and there were 28 cats among
them, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said.
A cow, a pig, a goat, a fox and a polecat were also found to be
infected. The number of people affected by rabies during the past six
months is 28.
Rabies vaccination program. ANCL Library photo
In 2008 there were 51 rabies victims in Sri Lanka. The number of dog
bites reported from Sri Lanka per day is 2000 and one injection (Human
Immiuno Golbine) used to treat a patient with dog bite costs the
Ministry Rs.39,000. The Ministry spends Rs.500 million per year only for
dog bite treatment.
According to the spokesman the Treasury allocated Rs.100 million for
the ministry’s rabies control program in 2008 and this year the amount
has been increased up to Rs.200 million. The Ministry spends Rs.5000 to
sterilize one dog.
In 2008 the number of dogs vaccinated was 208,691 and during the past
six months 299,572 dogs have been vaccinated.
270,286 domestic dogs and 29,249 stray dogs were among them.
Officials have been asked to complete vaccination and sterilize all
dogs in one area/province and move to another province in order to cover
the entire dog population.
At the moment the program covers parts of different areas. It has
been found that majority of dog owners do not sterilize their dogs
increasing the dog population.