A rabid dog bit 16 villagers of Buttar Kalan in this district on Saturday evening, and all are critical because rabies vaccine is unavailable.
Villagers Harjinder Kaur, Kuldeep Kaur, Jagjit Singh, Malkit Singh, Jasvir Kaur, Angrej Kaur, Satpal Singh, Panjab Kaur, Gurpreet Singh, Piar Kaur, Raj Kaur, Paramjit Kaur, Darshan Singh, Nasib Kaur, Sant Ram, and Bachan Singh were bitten. They are in serious condition and admitted to Dr Mathura Dass Civil Hospital here and the government hospitals at Badhni Kalan and Dhudike.
Sarpanch Darshan Singh Darshi, who was among the bitten, said none of the three hospitals had anti-rabies vaccine in stock. "They wanted `100 for each dose but because they didn't have enough vaccine, it cost us `500 at private stores," the sarpanch added.
Doctors at the emergency ward in Moga advised Kuldeep Kaur to report on Monday for vaccination. "They told me no vaccine was in store today," she said. "Dog-bite cases have gone up in the past one year across the district but the health department has failed to store the rabies vaccine at civil government hospitals and dispensaries," said former district Youth Congress president Manjit Singh Mann.
The health department recorded 82 dog-bite cases between April 2010 and March 2011 in the Moga Civil Hospital alone. The number jumped to 171 in the next year, and this year, the hospital has dealt with 47 cases, so far.
Rabies vaccine is out of stock for the past few months, assistant civil surgeon Dr Naresh Gupta has confirmed. "Six months ago, the health department sent 1,500 injections, and we had divided the stock among Dhudike, Baghapurana, Badhni Kalan, Dharmkot, Kot-Ise-Khan, Thathi Bhai, Nihal Singh Wala, and other dispensaries," he added.