NAPRE: The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW), Mansukh Mandaviya, and Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (MoFAHD), Parshottam Rupala released the “National Action Plan for Dog Mediated Rabies Elimination by 2030 (NAPRE)”.
- NAPRE was unveiled on September 28, 2021 on the occasion of World Rabies Day.
- World Rabies Day is observed on September 28 every year to raise awareness about the impact of the viral disease and how to prevent it.
- This day is also observed globally to mark the death anniversary of French biologist, microbiologist and chemist, Louis Pasteur, who developed the first rabies vaccine.
- This is the only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention.
- The Government is now focusing on taking steps for reducing health risks caused by animals, due to the rapid increase in animal-induced diseases like Covid-19.
- NAPRE was introduced as a roadmap to eliminate rabies by 2030.
- On the occasion, the Joint Inter-Ministerial Declaration Support Statement for the elimination of dog-mediated rabies from India by 2030 through the one health approach was also launched by both the Ministers.
- They urged all the States and Union Territories (UTs) to make Rabies a notifiable disease.
- They also suggested undertaking extensive IEC to make people aware of the difference between medicine and vaccine with regard to Rabies.
- Villagers in India refer to the disease as ‘Hadakwa’. The mere mention of ‘Hadakwa’ induces terror in rural areas.
- So, the senior officials have been asked to use the more familiar term ‘Hadakwa’ in popularizing the activities to be taken up under the plan and when the villagers will understand that Rabies translates to ‘Hadakwa’, they will actively help the government in this noble endeavour.
- National Action Plan for dog Mediated Rabies Elimination (NAPRE) was drafted by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in association with the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying.
- Its approach for elimination of rabies is based on recommendations of several international agencies WHO and the Global Alliance of Rabies Control (GARC).
- It was prepared on the basis of the following 6 major pillars-
- Political will,
- Intersectional planning,
- Sustained funding,
- Community planning,
- Coordination & review,
- Operational research.
- NAPRE has been launched with the aim of reducing human deaths, caused due to dog-mediated rabies, to zero by 2030 which can only be achieved through sustained mass dog vaccination and appropriate post-exposure treatment.
Status of Rabies in India:
- Notably, 33 percent of global rabies deaths are recorded in India.
- Rabies is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.
- It is a deadly zoonotic disease which is usually transmitted through an animal bite, for example, from stray dogs or other mammmals. Other sources of rabies in humans include bats, monkeys, raccoons, foxes, skunks, cattle, wolves, coyotes, cats, and mongooses (normally either the small Asian mongoose or the yellow mongoose).
- There is no specific treatment for rabies.
- A vaccine can prevent infection.
- Rabies causes about 56,000 deaths worldwide per year, about 40% of which are in children under the age of 15.
- More than 95% of human deaths from rabies occur in Africa and Asia.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Communicable Disease Surveillance 2007 Annual Report states the following can help reduce the risk of contracting rabies.
- Vaccinating dogs, cats, and ferrets against rabies.
- Keeping pets under supervision.
- Not handling wild animals or strays.
- Contacting an animal control officer upon observing a wild animal or a stray, especially if the animal is acting strangely.
- If bitten by an animal, washing the wound with soap and water for 10 to 15 minutes and contacting a healthcare provider to determine if post-exposure prophylaxis is required