Agency aims to rid Thailand of rabies by 2020

national February 21, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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The Disease Control Department says it is making good progress with its strategy to have no rabies-related human deaths by 2015 and rid the country of the disease by 2020.

Dr Sopon Mekthon, presiding over a conference yesterday on the eradication of rabies and other animal-to-human diseases, said that as many as a million people in Thailand were bitten by dogs or cats every year, but only half sought rabies injections despite knowing that such bites can be fatal. Between 2005 and 2013, 130 rabies-related deaths were reported. So far this year, two have been reported, in Prachin Buri and Si Sa Ket. 
Sorawit Thaneto, deputy chief of the Livestock Development Department, said his agency would speed up the campaign to have all dogs registered and ensure that both pet and stray dogs are vaccinated. The department is also aiming to control stray dogs in communities. So far, only 300,000 dogs have been sterilised as part of the department’s aim to spay at least a million pooches by 2015. He said they aimed to spay another 250,000 this year to meet the million-dog goal.