KUCHING, Jan 23 — The Sarawak government has allocated RM22.8 million this year to curb the spread of rabies.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the state government has already spent over RM20 million since the first outbreak in July 2017.
“Among our plans to curb the spread of the disease is to vaccinate and microchip some 157,000 or 70 per cent of the estimated 225,000 dog population in the state,” Uggah said after chairing the state Disaster Management Committee meeting here.
He said about 50 per cent of the dog population in Sarawak have been vaccinated.
He added that the National Disaster Management Agency is helping the state authorities in their fight to contain rabies, which has claimed the lives of 16 persons to date.
Uggah said the rabies outbreak has been included in agenda of the Central Disaster Management Committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail since October 30 last year.
He said the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) in Putrajaya also assisted the state by providing officers for surveillance.
“It had supplied 80,000 doses of rabies vaccine, conducted rabies testing at the Veterinary Research Institute in Ipoh and training for the setting up of the state own veterinary diagnostic laboratory,” he said.
He added that DVS experts had also come to help with the surveillance programme and to formulate effective containment strategies and to determine the buffer and immune zones of areas affected by the outbreak.
Uggah the fight against the rabies outbreak had been and still is a close collaboration between the state and federal agencies.