Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala unveiled the National Action Plan for dog Mediated Rabies Elimination by 2030 (NAPRE).
"The Ministers urged all the States and UTs to make Rabies a notifiable Disease," an official statement said.
The two Union ministers also launched the Joint Inter-Ministerial Declaration Support Statement for the elimination of dog mediated rabies from India by 2030 through the One Health Approach.
The Union Health Minister also spoke on the human cost extracted by the disease.
Drawing from his own experience of contracting a zoonotic disease while treating an animal, Mandaviya acknowledged that most victims of the disease are those who are in the most productive years of their life. Zoonotic diseases like Rabies claims the lives of people in their prime, denying the family of their earning member, he stated.
Rupala spoke about the menace of Rabies in rural parts of the country. In villages, the disease is commonly known as 'Hadakwa'.
He said, The mere mention of 'Hadakwa' induces terror in rural areas. Villagers will actively come forward when they understand that Rabies translates to 'Hadakwa'. They will actively help the government in this noble endeavour.
Rupala asked the senior officials to use the more familiar term 'Hadakwa' in popularising the activities to be taken up under the plan.
He also stressed creating awareness about the difference between vaccine and medicine with regard to Rabies.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has drafted the action plan in consultation with the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
Rabies is 100 per cent fatal but 100 per cent vaccine-preventable. 33 per cent of global rabies deaths are recorded in India," said Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.
She expressed hope that NCDC with its rich experience in tackling zoonotic diseases like Nipah, Zika, Avian flu and surveillance of diseases like influenza, hepatitis would play a great role in the government's effort to boost the One Health approach.
Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, underscored the importance of the One Health approach by pointing out that newer strategies need to be designed for the health challenges of this era, with two-thirds of all present diseases having their origin in animals.
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