Viet Nam News
BẮC GIANG — There are more than 7.7 million domestic dogs in Việt Nam but just 41 per cent of them are vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the number of human deaths from dog-transmitted rabies in the country has increased in the last two years, said Đàm Xuân Thành, Deputy Head of the Animal Health Department under the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry.
Speaking at a meeting held in the northern Bắc Giang province on Wednesday to mark World Rabies Day, which falls on September 28, Thành said that rabies might increase again in Việt Nam.
Last year, 91 people died of rabies — 17 per cent higher than 2015 and 38 per cent higher than 2014. In the first nine months of this year, 57 people, mostly from the northern provinces, died of rabies.
The Head of the Animal Health Department, Đặng Quang Tuấn, said that ineffective disease prevention, low rate of vaccination on dogs and humans contributed to the increased number of deaths.
Doctor Nguyễn Trung Cấp, Head of the Emergency Department under the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said that every year, the hospital receives about ten rabies patients who are bitten by infected dogs, but refused to get vaccinated.
Instead, the patients consult quacks for “secret remedies” and to find out whether the dogs were infected with rabies or not, Cấp said.
He added that in cases when patients relied on quacks, they were usually hospitalised too late and could not survive.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, Việt Nam has launched a national programme on rabies prevention and control for 2017 to 2021.
The Agriculture Ministry and the Health Ministry will continue implementing the programme. They have also called for better public awareness and involvement to increase vaccination rates.
World Rabies Day, which is observed on September 28, also marks the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur — the French chemist and microbiologist who developed the first rabies vaccine. This year, the theme is “Zero Human Deaths from Dog-transmitted Rabies by 2030.” — VNS