KUCHING: The Sarawak Government has approved an allocation of RM10.14 million this year to execute its Plan Of Action For Rabies Control And Eradication Programme, Deputy Chief Minister I, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said today.
He said the plan of action was developed during a workshop in December to recommend the enhancement and strengthening of the existing rabies control measures.
“The workshop also recommended the creation of an immune belt along the 1,200-kilometre border of Sarawak with Kalimantan (Indonesia) to curb the movements of dogs and the deployment of 32 Immune Belt Enforcement Teams,” he said in his speech to launch the state-level World Rabies Day 2020, here.
His speech text was read by the State Local Government and Housing Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Datuk Antonio Kahti Galis.
Uggah, who is also the State Disaster Management Committee chairman, said the Immune Belt Enforcement teams covered 978 villages, estates and government outposts to carry out surveillance and to vaccinate dogs.
Uggah said since the rabies’ incursion into Sarawak in July 2017, 24 lives had been lost to rabies and dogs were responsible for 99 per cent of the human rabies cases.
Since then, until this year, 25 people infected with rabies were reported in 2017 (six), 2018 (10), 2019 (six cases) and there were three cases so far this year.
“A total of 170,712 dogs in the state had been vaccinated from 2017 until 2019 and 27,329 dogs were vaccinated this year until Oct 13,” he added.
According to Uggah, the enforcement of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999, licensing by law and controlled movements of dogs had resulted in a reduced number of rabies cases.
“The state government will continue to support rabies control programme including providing budgets that are required for the elimination of rabies,” he added.