The Bali Agricultural and Food Security Agency (Distan Pangan) is accelerating the vaccination of dogs targeted for 100% coverage by the end of 2023.
, officials are working to establish Task Forces Against Rabies (Tisira) in all villages and Balinese communities to achieve 100% vaccination coverage.
Coordination meetings are being convened between Regency and Metropolitan Agricultural Departments, Provincial and Regional Health Authorities, the Council of Traditional Villages (Majelis Desa Adat), and other elements of the local community held in Bali on Tuesday, 27 June 2023.
As reported by NusaBali.com, all villages, and communities are urged to set up a local Task Force Against Rabies (Tisira). The head of Distan Pangan Bali, I Wayan Sunada, confirmed that Tisira Centers have already been established in four regencies: Buleleng, Jembrana, Badung, and Karangasem.
“We have agreed with the regencies and metropolitan administration to create a wider network of Tisiras. We now need to create more Tisiras on the village level. Tisiras will be the first line of defense for eliminating rabies in Bali,” said Sunada following the coordination meeting.
With the involvement of village members and local community leadership Bali will be able to track the cases of rabies occurring across the Island and monitor dog populations which are the main vectors of the disease. The Tirasas will also become crucial in educating the public on the importance of vaccination against rabies for household pets and the recommended treatment of people who have been bitten by any animal suspected of suffering from rabies.
Sunada estimates some 599,719 household pets exist in Bali, 59.82% of which have been inoculated against rabies.
Sunada urged the public not to allow their pets to run free. He also reminded that some people have died of rabies after being bitten by their pets.
Sunada said that to date 2023, four people have died from rabies, while for all of calendar 2022, twenty-two people died of the disease in Bali. The government targets 80% of pet dogs to be vaccinated by August and 100% by the end of 2023. With a 100% vaccination rate, Bali aims to be once again declared “rabies-free.” 2008 was the last year in which Bali was officially rabies-free.
Bali is in the midst of urgently importing anti-rabies vaccines from domestic and international sources, including Australia.
People bitten by a dog should remain calm and continuously wash any wound with soap and water for 10 minutes as soon as possible. After washing the wound, report to a nearby medical facility. By 17 June 2023, 19,035 dog bites have occurred on the Island. Among this number, 285 confirmed cases of rabies were identified. During the same period, four rabies-related deaths occurred among people who failed to seek proper medical treatment.
Every effort to confine the dog who inflicted the bite should be made. Coordinate with the pet’s owner to confine the dog and place it under supervision for two weeks will reveal if the animal is rabid.
People who report to a medical facility after being bitten by a wild or free-roaming dog are treated with anti-rabies vaccines (VAR). If a personal pet bites someone, treatment is delayed while the animal is confined and out under observation to determine if the animal is infected with rabies. Typically, animals infected with rabies will die within 2-3 days. Animals that inflict a bite on a human but have not died within two weeks are considered not infected with rabies.
Humans infected with rabies will show symptoms in a period ranging from 1 to 3 months. When symptoms have manifested, the victim is almost invariably in the terminal phase of rabies. Symptoms include an aversion to water or light.
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