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Ministry tries to increase rural rabies vaccinations

Update: August, 19/2014 - 10:17
Communications efforts would focus on raising the vaccination rate for dogs and cats as well as people who were bitten by dogs or cats. — Photo t4ghcm.org.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Experts called on localities to raise awareness about rabies prevention, especially in rural areas, at a conference yesterday.

Communications efforts would focus on raising the vaccination rate for dogs and cats as well as people who were bitten by dogs or cats.

"Vaccination is the only way to save the life of someone who gets rabies from a dog or cat bite," said the Ministry of Health's Preventive Medicine Department deputy director Dang Quang Tuan.

Rabies killed 40 people in 20 provinces and cities during the first six months of this year, compared to 49 people in the same period last year. Viet Nam still has a high rate of deaths by rabies because only 20 per cent of animals are vaccinated, Tuan said.

The disease occurs mainly in rural areas, where people have inadequate knowledge about rabies prevention and fail to go to medical clinics for the necessary vaccine after being bitten by dogs. More than 31 per cent of people surveyed by the department said that if bitten by a dog, there was no need to go to a clinic if the dog still appeared normal.

The prevention programme will focus on raising awareness in such communities, especially in the 10 provinces and localities with the most rabies cases.

The country currently has around 6 million dogs, but management of them is difficult, especially in rural areas where people let their dogs wander freely and do not vaccinate them against rabies. — VNS

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