News:Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) has informed Lok Sabha about the National Rabies Control Programme(NRCP).
About National Rabies Control Programme(NRCP):
- National Rabies Control Programme was approved during 12th FYP by Standing Finance Committee in 2013 as Central Sector Scheme.
Objectives of NRCP:
- Training of Health Care professionals on appropriate Animal bite management and Rabies Post Exposure Prophylaxis.
- Advocacy for states to adopt and implement Interdermal route of Post exposure prophylaxis for Animal bite Victims and Pre exposure prophylaxis for high risk categories.
- Strengthening Human Rabies Surveillance System.
- Strengthening of Regional Laboratories under NRCP for Rabies Diagnosis.
- Creating awareness in the community through Advocacy & Communication and Social Mobilization.
Components of NRCP:The NRCP has both human and animal health components.
- Human Component:It is being implemented in all the states & UT by the National Centre for Disease Control.
- Animal Component:It is being pilot tested in the Haryana & Chennai under the Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests.
Problems with NRCP:
- Under NRCP Programme, the funds are not provided for procurement of Anti- Rabies vaccine(ARV).
- As there is rabies elimination drive by 2030 globally,there is significant demand of Anti Rabies Vaccine and Serum from the neighboring countries like Myanmar, Malaysia and the Philippines and these countries are importing vaccine from India.This is leading to a shortage of vaccines in India.
- Hence,all the rabies vaccine manufacturers have been told to ensure that the manufacturing of ARV is carried out with full capacity and first preference may be accorded to meet domestic requirements.
- Rabies is caused by Ribonucleic Acid(RNA) virus that is present in the saliva of a rabid animal.It is transmitted following a bite of a rabid animal that leads to deposition of the saliva and the virus in the wound.
- The death invariably occurs in four days to two weeks due to cardio-respiratory failure.However,the time interval between the bite and occurrence of symptoms varies from four days to two years or rarely even more.
- Thus,it is important to remove the virus from the wound as early as possible by immediately washing the wound with water and soap followed by application of antiseptics that reduce chances of nerve infection.
Status of Rabies in India:
- According to the Health Ministry’s data,India accounts for more than one-third of the world’s rabies deaths.
- India has a population of 30 million stray dogs which cause 96% of rabies in humans.Each year,as many as 20,000 people die due to the vaccine-preventable fatality.