Boy dies of rabies


KARACHI: An 11-year-old child Lal Bux, brought to Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) from Sanghar, with exposure to rabies consequent to his being bitten by a dog, passed away at the hospital Tuesday night.

JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemi Jamali confirming the death on Wednesday said the child was carried by his parents to the hospital as his condition deteriorated after the incident.

“The parents confirmed that the boy was never vaccinated against rabies,” she said apprehending that there is every possibility that Lal Bux may have also not been provided with immediate and essential medical relief.

Doctors along with microbiologists working for the control of different viral and bacterial infections have repeatedly urged the concerned quarters to initiate an efficient and sustainable anti-infection programme with a major focus on prevention.

They regretted that the country continues to report significantly high infections induced morbidity and mortality rates as compared to many of the other developing states.

As for the availability of anti-rabies vaccines in the healthcare facilities of the province was concerned, a senior doctor said this comes low in the priorities of the managers associated with government as well as private sector medical facilities.

“Victims of rabies are mainly from lower income sections who can ill afford the cost of the vaccines and also hold little influence in the right quarters,” said a senior professional.

Emphasising that vast majority of healthcare centres in the province were devoid of dedicated cells to vaccinate people against rabies or offer urgent intervention, she said ARV is only available at JPMC, Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital and Indus Hospital in Karachi.

“What we often fail to understand is that rabies is not only caused due to the bite of a rabid dog but other animals, including those categorised as domestic, do cause the dreadful infection,” said the doctor.