Additional 4,000 doses of vaccine being brought from New Delhi

The ‘Mission Rabies’ project being implemented in the city has been able to administer rabies vaccine to 4,640 dogs in just five days.

Additional 4,000 doses of vaccine is being brought from New Delhi by the UK-based World Veterinary Service (WVS) which is spearheading the anti-rabies project along with the Madurai Corporation from September 2 to 13.

“This is a big success story for us and vaccinating 4,640 dogs in five days is a great accomplishment thanks to the support of the district administration and civic authorities. Our target is to vaccinate at least 10,000 dogs totally and make Madurai rabies free,” Dr.Appupillai Murugan, Senior Veterinary Coordinator, WVS, who is leading a special team from London, told “The Hindu”.

For the dogs which were administered rabies vaccine, the veterinarians are spraying blue colour paint on the neck for the public to easily identify whether a dog was vaccinated or not.

Mission Rabies project was launched in various places in the country, including Madurai, which is seen as one of the hot spots for rabies deaths due to dog bites.

Dr.Murugan said that the public response was encouraging as the vaccinating team was getting calls asking when the dogs in their area would be covered. The founder and chief executive of WVS, Luke Gamble, visited the city a couple of days back to review the implementation.

Intensive vaccination drive will be carried out till September 13 and all the 100 wards would be covered. A team of epidemiologists and photographers from abroad have come to Madurai to document the work being done.

Apart from stray dogs, the WVS and corporation team are also focusing on pet dogs. Dr.Murugan said that the next concentration should be on sterilisation of dogs to control their population.

The Madurai Corporation and its health wing have prepared a schedule for each day so as to cover all areas in the city.

According to sanitary inspector and Sellur animal birth control centre coordinator S.Murugan, special attention is being given to the city peripheries which were newly added to the corporation.

Areas such as Anuppanadi, Chinthamani, Sundararajapuram, Jaihindpuram and Vilangudi would get more focus due to large number of stray dogs there. Two dog catching vehicles and a new sterilisation centre at Avaniapuram are in the pipeline.

From Monday (September 9), the vaccination team will visit S.S.Colony, Kochadai, Arasaradi, Vandiyur, Uthangudi, Balarangapuram, Teppakulam, Tamil Sangam, Meenakshi Temple area and other places. It is being done in two shifts — from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Specially-trained dog catchers and veterinarians are on the field.

Those who want to know about the vaccination schedule or complain about stray dogs can contact Dr.Murugan on cell number 93446-05443.

‘Our target is to vaccinate at least 10,000 dogs totally and make Madurai rabies-free’

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