Sept 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka is taking action towards a target of zero rabies death by 2020. The Health Ministry has announced that action would be taken to completely eliminate rabies from Sri Lanka within the next four years.
It is planned to commemorate World Rabies Day this year making this aim more meaningful. World Rabies Day falls on the 28th of this month. This year's theme is "Educate, Vaccinate and Eliminate Rabies." 2016 marks the 10th World Rabies Day, a milestone in rabies prevention.
Since it began in 2007, the rabies community have aligned to make World Rabies Day a global phenomenon. In that time, its life-saving rabies prevention messages have reached millions of people in over 100 different countries.
Rabies is 100 percent fatal and also 100 percent preventable both in human and animal populations. In Sri Lanka 20 to 30 people succumb to rabies annually, according to the Health Ministry. Children are often at greatest risk of getting rabies.
Most human deaths followed bite from rabies infected dogs. Wound washing and flushing with soap and water and rabies post exposure therapy as soon as possible can prevent onset of rabies 100 percent.
Most cost effective way for preventing rabies in people by eliminating rabies in dogs through effective mass rabies immunization campaign targeting over 70 percent coverage among dog population. The Health Ministry suggests vaccination of all dogs to eliminate rabies in the country.
The World Health Organization is intent on totally eliminating rabies from the world by the 2030. Sri Lanka is planning to eliminate Rabies by the year 2020 with the support of the World Health Organization.