Dr Sim: Eliminating rabies responsibility of all, not just govt


Dr Sim (right) speaks at the forum while Malaysian Medical Association Sarawak chairman Dr Liew Shan Fap looks on. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING (May 26): The government can only be successful in eliminating rabies in Sarawak if everyone does their part, said Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

In fact, he stressed, everyone should be the champion against the deadly disease.

“Eradication of rabies is the responsibility of all, including pet animal lovers, not just the government.

“I hope everyone play their part, we in SDMC (Sarawak Disaster Management Committee) will continue to do our part so that by 2030, we will not just be able to eliminate rabies but so that the WHO (World Health Organisation) will not name Sarawak as a country in the whole world that had failed to eradicate rabies.

“Most important is we all play our role to save lives,” he said at the ‘Dog bite kills rabies awareness public forum’ at MBKS Auditorium today.

The Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government said the Veterinary Department, the Health Department and the relevant agencies have all gone beyond expectations to keep rabies under control.

He said Sarawak almost managed to control the spread of rabies before the Covid-19 pandemic through measures, vaccination programmes, stray dogs control and public awareness.

“We did so well before Covid. But now because the disease is coming back, the number has increased, everybody panicked.

“If people panic, do something. Don’t panic just to blame others. By blaming people, you cannot solve everything.

“Let’s do action together, work together so that eight weeks from now, the number of dog bites and rabies will drop because we all are doing something together,” he said.

He stressed that all must shoulder the responsibility, especially by keeping their pet dogs within their own house compound or vicinity.

“All of us must do our part to prevent the spread of rabies,” he reminded.