Availability of Anti Rabies Vaccine (ARV) in government civil hospitals and area hospitals is a persistent problem in East Godavari district for the last three to four years. The delay in supply from Central Drug Stores to these hospitals is causing deaths due to dogbites.
According to Rajahmundry Civil Hospital sources, 60 to 70 cases of dogbite are being reported daily from 14 mandals around the city and the doctors are giving 50 to 60 doses of injections a day.
Sudhakar, Resident Medical officer, said that this was the first time in recent times that there was a gap of about 20 days -- between April 4 and 26 -- when the ARV was not available in Rajahmundry government hospital.
He said that most times they sourced the drug from other area hospitals, but this time there was a shortage in all areas.
The ARV has to be given on the first, third, seventh, and on the 30th day of the dog's bite. It costs Rs.1,500 to Rs.2,000 and poor people cannot afford to bear it.
But, the shortage of vaccine is not allowing patients to maintain schedules and there are 8 death cases reported last year due to dogbite and irregular schedule. .
As far as Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation is concerned, the Commissioner said that as per records 116 vials of ARV were presently available in the corporation hospital, and 100 more would arrive soon. To control stray dog menace the corporation has entered into an MoU with Jeeva Raksha, a voluntary organisation for vaccination of the stray dogs.