Karachi, Pakistan: Friday, October 4, 2019
Getz Pharma Pvt. Ltd and Rabies Free Karachi (RFK), an initiative of the Indus Hospital Research Center (IHRC) are entering into a strategic partnership to eradicate Rabies from Karachi. As per this partnership, Getz Pharma will provide financial assistance, fund-raising support, and marketing expertise in an effort to eliminate Rabies from the society.
In Pakistan, over 160,000 dog bites occur annually, resulting in an estimated 2000 to 5000 human deaths annually. Most deaths from Rabies are not reported, since patients are taken to either faith healers or shrines. Compounding the issue of dog bites is the dwindling supplies of anti Rabies vaccine and Rabies immunoglobulin (RIG), both of which are essential for Rabies prevention after a bite from a rabid animal.
The vision of the RFK program is to implement an anti-Rabies program by implementing the One-Health Approach recommended by WHO, OIE and FAO, which aims to eradicate Rabies universally by 2030- (#zeroby30). This approach advocates Mass Dog Vaccination (MDV).It has been proven in many countries around the world that if at least 70% dogs are vaccinated in an area, it will provide herd immunity and eliminate Rabies in that area. Moreover, the problem of rapidly growing population of stray dogs can be reduced effectively by animal birth control (ABC) by surgically neutering or spaying dogs. MDV and ABC combined will considerably reduce the menace of stray dogs and eliminate Rabies
RFK undertook a pilot project of MDV and ABC in the fishing village of Ibrahim Hyderi from January to December 2018. After achieving success in the pilot phase the RFK initiative is now scaling up its program to cover all of Karachi in order to eradicate the incidence of Rabies in the city. According to the Program Director, RFK Dr. Naseem Salahuddin, the momentum has now become a movement to save the people from this dreaded disease.“We are grateful to Getz Pharma for their tremendous support, and hope that other members of civil society and government institutions will join in this movement.”
Getz Pharmais the Founding Partner of Indus Hospital Rabies Free Karachi program, which will be implemented effectively all across the city by investing in preventive measures. During the course of this project Getz Pharma will provide support for conducting epidemiologic research on dog bites and Rabies in Pakistan in order to record the factual statistics about their incidence. It will also support the marketing activities of the program, which will raise awareness about Rabies and promote kindness to animals. Most of the support will be utilized for the on-ground operations in the city for MDV and ABC. Regarding this partnership Getz Pharma’s MD and CEO Mr. Khalid Mahmood said, “Getz Pharma has been part of several initiatives in the fields of education, healthcare, culture, and environment. Rabies is a fatal disease that affects both humans and dogs and as a conscientious company that is concerned about public health we want to ensure that it is eradicated from Pakistan. Indus Hospital has been fighting on this front and we will do our part in combating Rabies.”
Today as the Indus Hospital and Getz Pharma sign this agreement for partnering on the Rabies Free Karachi initiative; they aim to save citizens from a dreaded disease. The plan is to achieve initial success in Karachi within two years and then to further scale up to the rest of the country.