Myanmar to soon open centres for treating dog bites

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Union Minister Dr. Myint Htwe attends the meeting to open centres for treating dog bites in Nay Pyi Taw.  
Photo: MNA

With the number of dog-bite cases registering an increase in Yangon Region, the Ministry of Health and Sports will soon open centres for treating dog bites. The centres will be opened in Yangon initially, and thereafter, in Mandalay and other states and regions.
A meeting to discuss measures for opening dog bite treatment centres was conducted on Monday at Office No. 4 of the Ministry of Health and Sports in Nay Pyi Taw. The meeting was attended by Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr. Myint Htwe.
At the meeting, Dr. Tun Tin, the director of the central epidemiology unit, said that the number of dog-bite cases has increased slightly in Myanmar. According to official statistics, the number of people bitten by dogs crossed 190,000 in 2018.
The Ministry of Health and Sports is purchasing anti-rabies vaccines and rabies immunoglobulin annually. It spent K5.4 billion on the vaccines in 2018-2019FY.
The number of people dying of rabies has declined significantly thanks to the provision of the anti-rabies vaccines, said Dr. Tun Tin.
The government is looking at opening dog bite treatment centres so the vaccines can be administered in an efficient manner, he added. The first meeting for opening the centres was held in February. In March, officials visited similar centres in Sri Lanka and inspected hospitals in Myanmar.
Myanmar will employ the intradermal method recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to administer the vaccines, instead of the intramuscular vaccination method. The Ministry of Health has decided to seek advice from the WHO on the matter.
“In order to open the dog bite treatment centres, we are preparing suitable places, staff, medicines, and medical apparatuses, and refrigerators to store vaccines,” said Dr. Tun Tin. There are plans to conduct training for staff and form specialized teams for rabies control, he said.
The Union Minister has said the government will open the dog bite treatment centres in Yangon initially. Later, such centres will be opened in Mandalay as well as in other states and regions. After the centres are ready, the government will announce their opening via television, radio, and newspapers so patients can reach out to the centres.
The anti-rabies prevention guide book, which was distributed by the Ministry of Health and Sports, will be revised in accordance with the 2018 WHO technical report series and the WHO expert consultation on rabies, the Union Minister said. The Union Minister will also provide assistance for opening the treatment centres as soon as possible. Monday’s meeting was attended by the Ministry of Health and Sports Permanent Secretary Prof. Dr. Thet Khaing Win, Permanent Secretary Dr. Thar Tun Kyaw, Public Health and Medical Services Department Director-General Dr. Soe Oo, the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Deputy Directors-General, Directors, Deputy Directors, and other officials.— GNLM
(Translated by Hay Mar)

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