National Rabies Control Programme (NRCP)

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    • The Union Government has launched the National Rabies Control Programme (NRCP) for the prevention and control of Rabies. 

    About

    • The Strategies of the National Rabies Control Program are as follows:
      • provision of rabies vaccine & rabies immunoglobulin through national free drug initiatives
      • training on appropriate animal bite management, prevention and control of rabies, surveillance and intersectoral coordination
      • strengthening surveillance of animal bites and rabies deaths reporting
      • creating awareness about rabies prevention
    • The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has also requested the concerned authorities to take appropriate action and to effectively implement the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2023 to control the dog population.

    National Rabies Control Programme (NRCP)

    • It is a zoonotic viral disease. Rabies is 100% fatal but 100% vaccine preventable.  33% of global rabies deaths are recorded in India.
    • It is caused by the Rabies virus, of the Lyssavirus genus, within the family Rhabdoviridae.
      • It is an Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) virus that is present in the saliva of a rabid animal (dog, cat, monkey, etc).
    • Common Vectors/ Reservoirs of Virus:
      • The most common reservoir of the virus is the domestic/street dog especially in South Asia and Africa.
      • More than 99% of human deaths due to rabies are caused by dog-mediated rabies.
      • In developed nations like the USA, animals that transmit rabies are bats, foxes, raccoons, and skunks.
      • Most mammals can carry the virus and hence can cause the disease.
    • It spreads by bite of a rabid animal that leads to deposition of the saliva and the virus in the wound.
      • The incubation period varies from 4 days to 2 years or sometimes even more.
      • Incubation period means the time interval between the bite and occurrence of symptoms/signs of the disease.
    • Symptoms:
      • Fever, Headache, Nausea, Vomiting
      • Anxiety, Confusion, Hyperactivity, Hallucinations, Insomnia
      • Difficulty swallowing
      • Excessive salivation
      • Partial paralysis
      • Fear brought on by attempts to drink fluids because of difficulty swallowing water, etc.
    • The death invariably occurs in 4 days to 2 weeks due to cardio-respiratory failure.

    World Rabies Day

    • It is celebrated on 28 September which marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s death.
      • Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist, who developed the first rabies vaccine.
      • He also discovered Pasteurisation, Vaccines for Anthrax and Cholera and Chamberland filters.

    About National Action Plan for dog Mediated Rabies Elimination by 2030 (NAPRE)

    • Under this, the union will encourage all the States and UTs to make Rabies a notifiable Disease. 
      • A notifiable disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities. 
    • “Joint Inter-Ministerial Declaration Support Statement” for Elimination of Dog mediated Rabies from India by 2030 was also launched. It emphasized on the need of One Health Approach for achieving the 2030 targets.

    Source: PIB