Delhi

Plea alleges shortage of anti-rabies drugs

High Court issues notices to Centre, Delhi govt and civic bodies on the petition

The Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Centre, city government and civic bodies here on a petition claiming that life-saving anti-rabies drugs are in short supply in Capital’s hospitals.

Scarcity in city hospitals

A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani gave the direction on a plea by advocate Rahul Mohod claiming that people of Delhi are facing non-availability of full-course dose of ‘anti-rabies vaccine’ in hospitals here from the last six months.

The plea said ‘anti-rabies vaccine’ is necessary to protect a human life against the biting of unvaccinated dog, cat, monkey, cow or buffalo.

It claimed that Centre and Delhi government have no effective mechanism or measures to control or eliminate human and animal rabies. “Therefore, India accounts for the most deaths in Asia [59.9% of human rabies deaths] and globally [35% of human rabies deaths],” it said.

“The main problem in India is failure of political will, lack of effective coordination among the agencies, lack of political commitment, lack of public awareness and irresponsible attitude of the civic agencies towards the issue,” the plea said.

Mr. Mohod said that while the people of Delhi are facing non-availability of ‘anti-rabies vaccine’ in the all government hospitals, the “whole world is taking effective steps to control and eliminate human and animal rabies”.

Even a small country like Republic of Philippines has taken a very effective step by way of passing a legislation known as “Anti Rabies Act, 2007” followed by punishment for violation.

Mr. Mohod argued that other Asian countries, such as Sri Lanka and Thailand, have made progress by taking a nationally coordinated approach.

“To attain the goal of a rabies-free country by 2020, Sri Lanka has initiated mass dog vaccination, enforced responsible dog ownership, strengthened surveillance for animals and humans, conducts mass awareness and educational programmes and has fixed a target of zero rabies deaths by 2030,” he said.

A country is called rabies-free, if no rabies cases are confirmed in humans, dogs or any other animals for at least two years, he said, adding that dog-mediated rabies has been eliminated from western Europe, Canada, the United States of America, Japan and some Latin American countries.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:46:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/plea-alleges-shortage-of-anti-rabies-drugs/article26585161.ece

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