Despite reports that as many as 135 people are bitten by dogs each day in Bali [See: Reality Bites], there are concerning reports from Radar Bali that community health centers and hospitals in Bali have depleted their stocks of the anti-rabies vaccine necessary to prevent death for those bitten by a rabid animal.
The Badung Hospital ran out of vaccine last week and the Petang Community Health Center has posted a sign proclaiming "out of anti-rabies vaccine" on their door since April 30, 2011.
The situation at the Abiansemal Community Health Center is no better with dog bit victims told to go to the Sanglah General Hospital as they and the geographically closer Badung Hospital have no anti-rabies vaccine. The Abiansemal center has been out of vaccine since April 23, 2011.
Radar Bali claims that all Community Health Centers in Badung are out of anti-rabies vaccine.
Hospital and Community Health Centers claim they have no idea when new stocks of anti-rabies vaccine will be available, with resupply controlled by the provincial Health Service.
Against the backdrop of the current unexplained shortage of rabies vaccine, the Bali Animal Husbandry service is racing against time to inoculate all dogs in Bali in order to make this island once again rabies free by the end of 2012. The next wave of island wide dog inoculations will commence in all regions on May 25, 2011.
Another Rabies Death Reported
The latest death in the current rabies epidemic is that of a 16-year-old Buleleng boy, Putu Juniartana.
The boy was bitten by a neighbor's dog one year ago but only manifested the symptoms of the disease on Sunday, May 1, 2011. Admitted to the Buleleng General Hospital on May 3rd, he died the following day.
Officials are reluctant to ascribe the boys death to rabies because the dog that bit him is still alive and healthy. Forensic tests on the dead boy's blood are needed to conclusively confirm a link with rabies.
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