Getz Pharma Pvt Ltd and Rabies Free Karachi (RFK), an initiative of the Indus Hospital Research Center (IHRC) on Friday entered into a strategic partnership to eradicate Rabies from Karachi. As per this partnership, Getz Pharma will provide financial assistance, fund-raising support, and marketing expertise in an effort to eliminate Rabies from the society.
In Pakistan, over 160,000 dog bites occur annually, resulting in an estimated 2000 to 5000 human deaths annually. Most deaths from Rabies are not reported, since patients are taken to either faith healers or shrines. Compounding the issue of dog bites is the dwindling supplies of anti-Rabies vaccine and Rabies immunoglobulin (RIG), both of which are essential for Rabies prevention after a bite from a rabid animal.
The vision of RFK programme is to implement the One-Health Approach recommended by WHO, OIE and FAO, which aims to eradicate Rabies universally by 2030- (zeroby30). This approach advocates Mass Dog Vaccination (MDV). It has been proven in many countries around the world that if at least 70 percent dogs are vaccinated in an area, it will provide herd immunity and eliminate Rabies in that area.
Dr Naseem Salahuddin said the momentum has now become a movement to save the people from this dreaded disease. "We are grateful to Getz Pharma for their tremendous support and hope that other members of civil society and government institutions will join in this movement."
Regarding this partnership Getz Pharma's MD and CEO Khalid Mahmood said, "Getz Pharma has been part of several initiatives in the fields of education, healthcare, culture, and environment." He said during the course of this project Getz Pharma will provide support for conducting epidemiologic research on dog bites and Rabies in Pakistan in order to record the factual statistics about their incidence.