Demand for sterilization, segregation of waste grows as dog bite cases on rise in Kashmir

5700 dog bite cases reported at anti-rabies clinic SMHS in last one year

Srinagar, April 21 :- As the cases of dog bites are on rise in Kashmir, the demand for sterilization and proper disposal of wastes is growing.

Doctors while talking said that sterilizing and vaccinating the dogs would effectively control their population, prevent rabies and reduce canine attacks.

They said that sterilization is the only scientific birth control measure for bringing the stray dog population under control.

They said that in absence of a major sterilization programme and vaccination, the menace of stray dogs is growing in the valley and is taking a heavy toll on the people.

“Every day a large number of people are falling prey to dog bites. The canines are storming streets, chasing cars, pulling down bicycle riders and often attacking pedestrians and school children,” they said.

Days before a minor boy was badly bitten by dogs in Beighpora Awantipora area of Pulwama.

Doctors treating him said that the wounds were so deep that even his lungs were injured and this incident is enough understand the gravity of dog bites menace in Kashmir.

They said that minor year old boy was brought to SMHS in critical condition with multiple injuries including injures in scalp, chest, shoulder, thigh and other parts.

There were deep wounds on his body and his vitals were deranged when he was brought to the hospital and at trauma operation theatre patient was resuscitated to stablize him, they said.

Patient is stable now and his multiple injuries have been switched and repaired with the help of plastic and ENT surgeons and we are hopeful that he will recover soon, they said.

Parents of the minor told that he was attacked by the dogs in farm land when no one was there but main reason behind it is the improper disposal of the waste that is luring dogs.

They said that for improper disposal of the waste both public and government is responsible but action needs to be taken immediately as today it has happened with us and tomorrow same can happen with others.

Despite going through such a difficult phase, no body from administration has even called us, they said, adding that government must take steps immediately to eradicate the growing dog bite menace.

An official from anti rabies clinic SMHS said, that from 1st April 2022 till 3Ist March 2023 as many as 6,875 bite cases were reported to ARC SMHS and most of them were from Srinagar.

Giving details, he said that among animal bites in last one year 4,912 animal bite cases were reported from Srinagar at ARC SMHS, 317 from Budgam, 201 from Baramulla, 134 from Kupwara, 168 from Bandipora, 301 from Ganderbal, 221 from Pulwama, 138 from Shopian, 147 from Kulgam, 85 from Anantnag and 231 from other areas.

Notably, in Kashmir, dog bite is an important public health problem. Thousands of people become victims of animal bites, especially dog bites, and some of them develop rabies.

Rabies is an invariably fatal viral disease resulting in approximately 59,000 human deaths per year globally, with 95% of cases occurring in Africa and Asia.

The only way to prevent a rabies death is vaccination of an animal bite victim. In Kashmir, the burden and characteristics of dog bites are not routinely captured by the health system in place.

Jahangeer Ganaie

Jahangeer Ganaie is a Pulwama based journalist, currently south head with News agency KNO and owner of The Kashmir Scroll

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