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Rabies: Dark side of Bhairahawa

Dr. Kush Kumar Yadav                                        

Dogs, better to be known as man’s best friend has been suffering to survive a normal healthy life in Bhairahawa, Nepal. Although the literacy percentage in Bhairahawa is 72% (District education office, Rupandehi, 2011), people still have the perception as dogs are responsible for rabies and they need to be killed for prevention. According to the WHO, Rabies is responsible for the 30% of total death in all over the world (WHO Media center, fact sheet, March 2016). In Nepal, more than 100 people die annually due to Rabies. In Bhairahawa itself, 12 people have died due to rabies in a year (DLSO, Rupandehi, Bhairhawa, Oral conversation,2015).

Yes, we all know that Rabies day is on September 28 but how many of us know the details about rabies. You may have question as “Is Rabies Preventable? Who is the culprit if not dogs? Is there any cure of it?…”. The answer is “Yes, Rabies is 100% preventable”. Vaccination is the one and only method to eradicate this disease. Dogs are not the generator of this disease, even the dogs obtain it from other sources. Fox, Bats are known to be the actual carrier of this deadly virus called Lyssa virus or Rabies virus. Once, suffered from the disease, there is no cure of it, the prognosis is grave.

Bhairahawa is at the west of Kathmandu, Nepal. Being facilitated by the DLSO, there are still the victims of rabid dogs. The reason may be the lack of awareness, lack of responsibility from the people, ignorance that they have towards street dogs. Whatever the reason may be, this virus has maintained its continuity to sustain in this region. There is the veterinary university in the Bhairahawa and the students do conduct some vaccination campaign but only owner dogs get vaccinated but what about the homeless dogs!!

This is the matter of animal right and welfare, an issue of getting disease free society, a discussion for the coming future and the awareness to the unknown. Being a veterinarian, I did gave my free service at the DLSO and still try to initiate the camps but the situation persists as the eradication goal can only be achieved through team effort. It’s not about who will be the next victim of virus but the act to be practical about the preventable measures.



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