Kerala tops in rabies vaccine

Kerala, a role-model for the rest of the nation on many aspects of social development, has added one more feather to its cap. It’s set a record in reaching anti-rabies vaccine to the maximum number of people.

As per the statistics received from Thiruvananthapuram Medical College (TMC), the state has made the vaccine available to 60 per cent of the total number of dog-bite victims. “It’s a significant achievement, because in other states, only 10 per cent of such victims receive treatment,” TMC professor for community medicine Dr. Thomas Mathew said.

Kerala could march ahead of other states on the Intra-Deramal Rabies Vaccination (IDRV) front since it’s been effective in taking the vaccine to the victims free of cost.

According to Thomas, the results are already showing. “The total number of fatalities in the State due to dog bites came down from 180 in 2009 to 80 cases by 2011,” he said.

Kerala’s initiative has also been lauded by World Health Organisation.

The IDRV has also reduced the financial burden of the state government to a significant extent. The state had spent Rs 35 lakh on the conventional vaccine in 2007-08. “By 2010-11, it came down to Rs 12 lakh", he said. The number of hospitals that provide IDRV have also increased in the state from 80 in 2009 to 288 in 2011. It’s estimated that over 1 lakh dog bites victims received IDRV between 2009 and 2011.

IDRV, based on tissue culture technology, unlike conventional vaccine, demands the administration of only a small dose. A total volume of 0.8 ml of IDRV is enough compared to conventional vaccine that demands 2.5 ml.

Thomas said this helped in the cost reduction, thus enabling the government to distribute it free of cost.

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