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Rabies Management Lapses in Vietnam: Officials Urge Stricter Control Amid Rising Cases

Vietnam confronts critical challenges in rabies management, emphasizing the urgency for enhanced vaccination and strict penalties against negligence.

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Ayesha Mumtaz
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Rabies Management Lapses in Vietnam: Officials Urge Stricter Control Amid Rising Cases

Rabies Management Lapses in Vietnam: Officials Urge Stricter Control Amid Rising Cases

In Vietnam, the battle against rabies encounters significant hurdles as localities display a lackadaisical approach to pet and rabies management, according to Nguyen Van Long, a top animal health official. The country's struggle with the rabies virus is spotlighted by recent alarming incidents and the government's call for stringent penalties against negligent management.

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Alarm Bells Ring Over Rabies Control

The official's revelations underscore a concerning trend: many localities fail to maintain accurate records of dog populations, and some lack the necessary public medical facilities for rabies treatment. Despite the availability of international funding for free rabies tests and sample collection, investigations into outbreaks are often neglected. This lax approach has contributed to a low vaccination rate of approximately 30% among dogs and cats, far below the threshold needed to curb the disease's spread. The complexity of the vaccine procurement process is cited as a major barrier to improving this figure.

Public Health at Risk

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Rabies poses a serious threat to public health, as illustrated by recent dog attacks. A five-year-old girl in Ha Giang and 14 students and teachers in a Quang Ninh primary school fell victim to dog bites, highlighting the urgent need for effective rabies management. The alarming number of rabies outbreaks recorded this year, alongside the substantial number of animals diagnosed with or euthanized due to rabies, signals a pervasive challenge. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's directive for severe penalties against those found negligent in rabies management underscores the government's recognition of the issue's gravity.

Strategies for Improvement

Enhancing rabies management necessitates a multifaceted approach, including improving the vaccination rate, ensuring timely medical attention for bite victims, and bolstering veterinary facilities. The government's involvement is crucial in streamlining vaccine procurement processes and enforcing regulations to ensure pet owners comply with vaccination and reporting requirements. Public awareness campaigns are equally important to educate the population on the risks of rabies and the importance of preventive measures.

The ongoing struggle against rabies in Vietnam highlights a critical public health issue requiring immediate attention. The government's call for harsh penalties against negligence, coupled with efforts to improve vaccination rates and public awareness, represents a step in the right direction. However, the effectiveness of these measures will ultimately depend on their implementation and the cooperation of local communities. As the country grapples with this challenge, the importance of a coordinated response to prevent further outbreaks and protect public health cannot be overstated.

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