Mumbai: Civic-run hospitals witness an acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccine

The anti-rabies vaccine is crucial as it can help save the lives of people bitten by dogs. As it is well-known, that delayed treatment of rabies can worsen the symptoms or can even cause death. While Mumbai is facing an acute shortage of the vaccine, health experts stated that the BMC should look into this matter on a priority basis

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  • Civic-run hospitals in Mumbai are witnessing an acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccines.
  • According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the shortage is due to the on-going issues between the manufactures and the wholesalers.
  • The BMC had earlier decided to supply the anti-rabies vaccines to the major hospitals in Mumbai, where a large number of dog bite patients are reported.

Many civic-run dispensaries and major hospitals in Mumbai are facing an acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccines since the past three months. This has caused a major inconvenience to the patients.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Padmaja Keskar, Executive Health Officer, BMC stated, “Civic-run hospitals in Mumbai are facing an acute shortage of the anti-rabies vaccines since for the last three months. This is primarily due to the on-going tussle between the manufactures and the wholesalers. But, we have prepared a plan to deal with this crisis.”

Dr Keskar further added, “In order to make sure that the patients get the anti-rabies vaccine on time, we ourselves have decided to supply it to major hospitals. The anti-rabies vaccine is currently being supplied to Sion, KEM and Rajawadi Hospitals, where a maximum number of dog bite case are reported.”

As the population of stray dogs in Maharashtra has increased, instances of dog bites have also risen. According to a recent RTI filed by activist Chetan Kothari, 35 deaths have occurred due to rabies in the last six years.

Satyajit Shah, asocial activist from Thane, said, “A majority of the dog bite victims, fall within the age group of 03 to 08 years. The anti-rabies vaccine plays a very crucial role in the management of the disease. If the patient gets the vaccine on time, then his/her life can be saved. There is a shortage of anti-rabies vaccine at the civic-run hospitals in Mumbai. Owing to which, poor and needy patients have to spend a huge sum of money in private hospitals.”

Shah further added, “The state government should look it into this matter. Only then, poor and needy patients will get timely medication and treatment in govt hospitals.”

Year Number of patients put on anti-rabies  vaccine
2012 11,973
2013 10,805
2014 12,171
2015 9,191
2016 10,282
2017 17,360

Also Read :- Did you know? Your cute pet may give you a disease