Treatment for rabies will be available across Madurai district soon under a pilot project sanctioned by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).

Under a new initiative given clearance last week at a review meeting held in New Delhi, the NICD will supply an effective anti-rabies serum (immunoglobulin) to Madurai district to treat dog bite cases.

A. Palanichamy, Deputy Director of Health Services, who attended the meeting, told ‘The Hindu' on Tuesday that the latest serum would be available at all the Government Hospitals and 13 Block Primary Health Centres in the district.

Immunoglobulin would be available at Government Hospitals in Madurai, Usilampatti, Melur, Thirumangalam, Vadipatti, Sholavandan and Peraiyur. Besides, it would be available at the block PHCs in one or two months.

Total coverage

“So far, only the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai was having anti-rabies clinic and persons who had dog bites in southern districts come here for treatment. But, the entire Madurai district is going to be covered now for the benefit of rural people,” Dr. Palanichamy said.

Five cities in the country had been selected for the anti-rabies pilot project under the National Rabies Control Programme.

They were New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore and Madurai.

A special training programme was conducted here last year for the Block Medical Officers of PHCs in the district. Besides, a fluorescent microscope, which would be effective in diagnosis of rabies, had also been sanctioned for Madurai district.

Anti-rabies vaccine was available in the PHCs since last year but the latest serum (immunoglobulin) would be more effective.

“We have made a request to the NICD authorities to cover rural areas also in view of the large number of dog bite cases. They have agreed and in about one month we expect the supply of anti-rabies serum,” he said.

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