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

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    • The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare along with the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has launched NAPRE on World Rabies Day.
      • The Rabies is also known as “Hadakwa”, “mad dog disease” or “Hydrophobia”.

    Rabies

    • It is a zoonotic viral disease.
    • 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).
    • Rabies is 100% fatal but 100% vaccine preventable. 
    • 33% of global rabies deaths are recorded in India.
    • 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.

    Control and Prevention of Rabies

    • Get rabies vaccination to prevent the infection.
    • Vaccinating your pet against the disease.
    • Maintain distance with the wild animals.
    • Wash wounds with soap and water and maintain good hygiene.
    • Keep your pets away from the other stray dogs.
    • Prevent bats wandering around your campuses and living places.

    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.
    • In 2007, the first World Rabies Day (ERD) was organised by the two founding partners namely 
      • Alliance for Rabies Control (ARC) and 
      • the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta (CDC).
    • Theme for World Rabies Day 2021 is “Rabies: Facts, not Fear”.

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

    • Declare Rabies as Notifiable Disease:
      • The union will encourage all the States and UTs to make Rabies a notifiable Disease.
    • “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.
      • Holistic approach to health keeping in mind human- animal interaction and their broader interaction with the environment can help alleviate such challenges.
      • Also environmental factors like rainfall, heat-wave can also contribute to the trajectory of the pathogen and the disease. 
    • Involvement of National Centre for Disease Control:
      • NCDC has rich experience in tackling zoonotic diseases like Nipah, Zika, Avian flu and surveillance of diseases like influenza, hepatitis. 
      • It would play a great role in the Government’s effort to boost One Health approach.

     

    Notifiable Diseases

    • A notifiable disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities. 
      • Registered medical practitioners need to
        • notify such diseases in a proper form within 3 days, or 
        • notify verbally via phone within 24 hours depending on the urgency of the situation.
    • The collation of information allows the authorities to monitor the disease, and provides early warning of possible outbreaks.
    • The WHO’s International Health Regulations, 1969 also require disease reporting to the WHO in order to help with its functions like 
      • global surveillance and 
      • advisory role.
    • The onus of notifying any disease and the implementation lies with the state government in India.
    • Few Notifiable Diseases
      • The Centre has notified several diseases such as 
        • Cholera, Diphtheria, Encephalitis, Leprosy, Meningitis, Pertussis (whooping cough), Plague, Tuberculosis, AIDS, Hepatitis, measles, yellow fever, malaria dengue, etc. 

     

    One Health Approach

    • It  is “the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines 
      • working locally, nationally, and globally
      • to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment
    • As two-thirds of all present diseases have their origin in animals, one health approach gains significance.

    Source: ResearchGate

     

    Need of the NAPRE Policy

    • Era of Globalisation
      • Earlier people did not venture out beyond a radius of 20-25 kms.
      • Now with the advent of modern life, an individual can also opt for overnight inter-continental travel.
        • It enables him to come in contact with a wide range of people of various backgrounds in different countries.
      • It results in quick and uncontrolled transmission of various diseases.
    • Human Cost to Disease
      • Most victims of the disease are those who are in their most productive years of their life.
      • Thus, zoonotic diseases like Rabies claim the lives of young people who are often bread winners of the family.

     

    Conclusion and Way Forward

    • Use of Village language for Awareness Campaigns
      • In the rural area, the english names are rarely known but even the mention of ‘Hadakwa’ induces terror in rural areas.
      • Villagers will actively help the government in this noble endeavour if they are presented with the more familiar terms.
    • Extensive use of IEC
      • Extensive IEC should be done to make people aware of the difference between vaccines and medicine with regard to Rabies.
      • Many people are confused and mistake the vaccine, a precautionary step with medicine, a curative solution after the onset of the disease. 
      • Although each Rabies death is preventable by vaccine, there are no medicines once the disease develops in a human.
    • Institutionalising Umbrella Body
      • The institutionalization of an umbrella body for better coordination between inter-ministerial bodies and other stakeholders can help a lot.

     Source: PIB