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Sarawak Records 45 Deaths From Rabies Since 2017, Says State Security Unit Director
Chai said the state had also seen an increase in rabies cases so far this year compared to last year. – File photo
September 26th, 2022 | 14:58 PM | 314 views
KUCHING (Sept 26): Sarawak has recorded 45 deaths from rabies since 2017, said state Security and Enforcement Unit director Datu Dr Chai Khin Chung.
Chai also said the state had seen an increase in rabies cases so far this year, with 11 cases recorded compared to 10 cases reported statewide last year.
“Based on the statistics of rabies cases in Sarawak, 45 rabies fatalities have been recorded since 2017 until 2022.
“Sarawak has witnessed an increase in rabies cases up to September this year with 11 cases recorded, compared to 10 cases last year,” he said before Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg launched the Immune Belt Enforcement Team (IBET) at Dataran Perayaan, Jalan Stadium here today.
Chai said rabies was first detected in 1768 in Boston, USA, according to research conducted by M. Baer George in the publication of his research results in The Natural History of Rabies.
“On the Borneo islands, rabies was detected in 1974 in East Kalimantan. While the first rabies victim in Sarawak was reported in Serian Division on July 2, 2017,” he added.
Chai said the IBET team is also ready to be assigned for operations on combating foot and mouth disease, African Swine Fever and other infectious diseases, apart from tackling rabies outbreaks.
“The main objective of the establishment of IBET is to ensure that Sarawak is free from the rabies epidemic and maintain its rabies-free status in the future.
“Such effort needs to continue as long as rabies has not been completely eradicated on the island of Borneo,” he pointed out.
He said the IBET team is responsible for six main tasks namely targeted removal, surveillance of dog movements, vaccinating dogs, collecting dog demographic data, establishing good relations with residents and educating the general public as first responders in the control of rabies disease.
He said IBET team members had undergone various courses and practical training to make sure that they are proficient in discharging their duties.
“The appointed members are local citizens who have no issue with the local dialects, culture and geography of the IBET operating area.”
He said the team is also to establish close relationships with the local community to effectively carry out their duties.
“A total of 32 small IBET teams comprising 96 members will work at the front-line, which is the Immune Belt area along the borders spanning 1,032km. On average, each member of the IBET will guard the movement of dogs along 10.75 km of our borders,” he added.
courtesy of THE BORNEO POST
by LIM HOW PIM & SAM CHUA
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