NCDC Experts Collaborate with Pune and PCMC for Rabies Elimination: Emphasis on Comprehensive Strategies

A team of experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi, conducted a comprehensive review meeting of the national rabies control programme in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad on Friday. The meeting, held at the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC)-run Naidu Infectious Disease Hospital in Baner, focused on strategies for the effective elimination of dog-mediated rabies as part of the rabies-free city initiative.

Headed by Dr. Ajit Shewale, Deputy Director of the One Health Division at NCDC, the meeting brought together officials from PMC, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), the public health department, animal husbandry, and representatives of PATH, a non-governmental organization (NGO).

Dr. Sarika Funde, Veterinary Superintendent of PMC, highlighted, “Various strategies that can be implemented in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad area under the rabies-free city initiative to achieve zero human deaths by dog-mediated rabies were discussed. Also, strategies to increase mass dog vaccination to interrupt transmission were emphasized.”

The NCDC, in collaboration with the state animal husbandry department and PATH, has organized a training program for all district veterinary officers across the state, focusing on rabies diagnosis and surveillance.

Dr. Bhagwan Pawar, Health Officer of PMC, outlined the directives received from the experts, stating, “They have directed us to work on both human and animal components to eliminate rabies in the city. There should be community involvement for animal birth control, and immunization of stray canines has been suggested by NCDC.”

Dr. Sudhir Patsute, an infectious disease expert and the head of Naidu Hospital, emphasized the need for more centers to handle animal bite cases. “We have been asked to have more such facilities, and all healthcare facilities should have an adequate stock of anti-rabies vaccines,” he said.

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