KUCHING – The Sarawak government has approved an allocation of RM7.07 million for rabies control and eradication programmes this year, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
He said the state government is serious in eliminating rabies and has provided the required funding, personnel and logistics to combat this disease.
According to Uggah, the commitment in controlling and eliminating rabies is a top priority of the state government and it has placed it under the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) for effective implementation and monitoring.
“Integrated and collaborative rabies control efforts in the state have also resulted in heightened community awareness on how to recognise and respond to the threat of rabies.
“We have also seen improved case management through cross-sectoral rapid response and integrated bite case management as well as improved mass dog rabies vaccination achieving more than 70 per cent coverage of the dog population,” he said in his speech at the state-level World Rabies Day 2021 here today.
The text of his speech was read out by state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
Meanwhile, according to Uggah, since the rabies incursion into Sarawak in July 2017 the state has lost 33 lives to rabies, and these lives could have been saved if they knew of the disease and sought immediate medical treatment.
“We can control and end rabies among our dog population. Every pet owner must bear the responsibility to keep their pets healthy by getting their pets checked up regularly, getting their core vaccinations, deworming as well as the rabies vaccination.
“If you have been bitten by a dog, do carry out the first aid measures like thorough washing of the bite wound with soap and water and immediately seek medical treatment including getting the human post-exposure rabies vaccination. This will prevent you from developing symptoms of rabies,” he added.