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Dog-bite fear grips people of Cumilla's Homna upazila

24 including children bitten in two days, anti-rabies vaccines scarce in health complex

OUR CORRESPONDENT | June 11, 2021 00:00:00

CUMILLA, June 10: At least 24 people, including children, were bitten by dogs in six villages of Homna upazila of the district on Monday and Tuesday.

The incident took place in Fajurkandi, Gharmora, Shampur, Sreepur, Khode Daudpur and Nilkhi villages of the upazila.

People of the upazila always become scared of dogs. Dogs roam the roads of villages and municipalities during day time. The number of foxes also increases in the upazila.

Meanwhile, the anti-rabies vaccines are scarce in the pharmacies of the Upazila Sadar. The patients are suffering due to lack of the vaccine in the Upazila Health Complex.

The hospital authorities say the vaccine is not officially given to the upazilas. District Sadar Hospital has this vaccine. The affected patients have demanded of the government to supply the vaccine to the Upazila Sadar Hospital.

A total of 24 people, including children, were injured in the dog bite till Tuesday morning. Among the injured are women. Almost all the injured have been treated at Homna Upazila Health Complex. Panic is prevailing everywhere in the upazila over the incident. Locals beat a dog to death in Nilkhi village of the upazila on Tuesday morning.

Sources at the Upazila Health Complex said most of the injured were women and children. The injured have been identified as Tasfia Akhter (4), Abdur Rahman (5), Hossain (6), Sharmin Akhter (26), Rahima Akhter (6), Samia Akhter (18) and Atiq (12) of Fajurkandi village in the upazila. Rusia Begum (50), Jisan (7), Khadija Akhter (14), Shahnaz Akhter (30), Shaon (12), Selim (26), Miraj (28), Maria (6), Liton (40) of Gharmora village. Rafi (8) of Sreepur village, Shaon (12) of Shampur village, Masuda Akter (28) of Khode Daudpur village, Monowara Begum (55), Fazilat Begum (60), Anwara Begum (60), Fayez Uddin (65) of Nilkhi village, Mamun Mia (32). There are also several others.

The patients and their relatives who came to hospital for treatment said a group of dogs suddenly went berserk and bit the people. Dog- panic has now gripped the people of the entire upazila.

Rafi, a child injured by a dog bite, said a dog suddenly entered their house on Tuesday morning. Rafi was standing in the yard at that time. At that moment, the dog bit his back and hand. Later, his mother rescued Rafi and brought him to the hospital.

Rafi's mother Rafia Begum said she did not get the vaccine at Homna Upazila Health Complex. There is no such vaccine in any pharmacy of Upazila Sadar Bazar. Later, she had to bring the vaccine from Gauripur in Daudkandi for her son.

Abdus Salam, owner of Billal Medical Hall in Upazila Sadar, said, "We have run out of anti-rabies vaccine. It is not usually needed by people. Pharmacies keep the vaccine 2/1 pieces in their store."

Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Dr Abdus Salam Sikder said dog bite has suddenly increased in Homna Upazila. In the last two days, we have treated 24 people from several villages who were bitten by dogs, he added.

Regarding the vaccine crisis, he said there is no anti-rabies vaccine in the Upazila Health Complex. The vaccine is available at the District Sadar Hospital. As a result, patients are forced to buy from outside.

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