Last week BAWA visited KARANGASEM regency twice in response to reports that dogs were being killed by both villagers and government because the life-saving VAR (anti-rabies vaccine) was not available to human bite victims in the area. We found:
THREE people in Merita village had been bitten by dogs suspected to be rabid and the bite victims were unable to obtain the VAR vaccine in Karangasem. Because no VAR was available people panicked and eliminated many local dogs. VAR was found in Jimbaran and we helped them find more in Ubud.
AT BIAS Latang Kelod at Amed a father reported his daughter had been bitten by a suspect dog (his own) four days after the bite when another villager was bitten by the same dog. The dog tested positive and government officers eliminated six dogs in the area and vaccinated 10.
AT SIBERTAN, Karanganyar, three people were bitten earlier in May. Government responded by eliminating 10 dogs and vaccinating others. At last report the bite victims had received their second VAR injections but VAR for their third injections due on 27 May was unavailable. BAWA was asked to help one bite victim and did find VAR.
Bali TV’s De Koh Ngomong program reported a visit to Karangasem by Animal Husbandry officers at which villagers sought government explanation of its rabies counter-measures; asked why VAR was unavailable or scarce in Karangasem; and stated that rabies control in Karangasem had failed. Government replied that VAR was difficult to access from the Health Department.
Please make sure your dogs are confined in Karangasem and elsewhere. Government officers have been instructed to kill all free dogs.
Last week BAWA surveyed GIANYAR clinics and hospitals to find only very limited and restricted supplies of VAR available. Most facilities had none. RS Sanglah in DENPASAR has restricted its supply to Bali residents only.
Meanwhile, media has reported that the heavily populated Bali regency of BADUNG also is out of VAR:
We ask why government would allow human vaccines to run dry when Bali is experiencing a rabies epidemic and is a popular tourist destination? And we ask why there are so many rabies cases on the island? In 2011 BAWA had successfully eradicated 80 percent of rabies in humans and in dogs. The Government needed only to continue the successful program.
PLEASE REPORT any suspected or proven rabies cases to BAWA and please report culls or planned culls to BAWA on 0811-389-004 or email email@example.com. Thank you.