SIBU: The deadly rabies has claimed 12 lives in Sarawak since it was first detected in July last year, said Minister of Local Government and Housing head of Public Health Dr Cheong Yaw Liang.
Speaking at the launching of the awareness campaign on “Say no to Rabies” in Sibu Town Square Phase Two on Saturday night, he added that another victim is still in critical condition.
He commended the Sibu community for taking preventive measures to keep out the disease since the report of first positive rabies cases in Julau and Sarikei nine months ago.
“This is the fruits of concerted efforts between the people and government through programmes such as anti-rabies vaccinations, dog population management and awareness programmes,” he said.
Dr Cheong, however, reckoned that more needs to be done, and called on Sibu folk to proactively increase their understanding on rabies.
“I hope Sibu and its surrounding areas will continue to be rabies-free.”
Sibu Resident Charles Siaw officiated at the event, which was also attended by Kanowit district officer Kathreen Lalai, and Sibu District Office representative Zulkarnain Ismail, community leaders Temenggong Stanley Geramong and Pemanca James Semilan.
Meanwhile, phase three of the free mass anti-rabies vaccination programme will be implemented here from Sept 19 till Nov 2.
From Sept 19 to 20, the programme will be held at Kanowit District Council (KDC) multi-purpose hall from 9am till 2pm, Sibu Jaya multi-purpose hall on Sept 25 (9am-2pm), Hui Ning Garden, Upper Lanang on Sept 26 (9am-2pm), Sibu Civic Centre on Sept 27 (9am-2pm), and Selangau multi-purpose hall Sept 28 (9.30am-2.30pm).
The programme will also cover houses and longhouses along the road from Kanowit town to Machan bazaar (Ranan/Bakong/Germai/Machan area) from Oct 2 to 4 (10am – 4pm) and from Sungai Kanowit bridge to Lipus (Ranan/Sekuau/Rantau Kemiding/Lipus area) from Oct to 11 (10am – 4pm).
It will cover houses and longhouses along the road from Sungai Kanowit bridge to Nanga Ngemah bazaar (Majau/Batu Luking/Dap/Ngungun/Nanga Ngemah area) on Oct 16 to 19 (10am-4pm); Jalan Penyulau/Kanowit from Oct 23 to 24 (10am-4pm); and from Sungai
Jek bridge Nanga Tada resettlement scheme (Jek/Bawan/Bejati/Sedaya/Mapai/Kabah/Tada area) on Oct 30 till Nov 2 (10am – 4pm).
At the function, Dr Teh Jo Hun from Sibu Divisional Health Office who gave a talk on awareness and preventive measures on rabies, advised the public to remember three key points on rabies prevention – to avoid being bitten by rabid dogs, wash wounds for 15 minutes under running water and seek immediate medical attention.