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When a Lack of Fund Bites Hardest

Desperately Needed Funding for Bali's Fight Against Rabies Stuck in the Slow-Moving Wheels of Bureaucracy.

(11/13/2010) Promised funding from the Central Government to pay for vaccines and operational support in the war on rabies has yet to paid to the relevant agencies in Bali, crating a delay that undermines pledges to re-establish a "rabies-free" status for the island by 2012.

Authorizing letters breaking down a promised Rp. 15 billion (US$1.63 million) in national funding have reportedly not yet been issued by the Ministry of Finance.

I Ketut Teneng, spokesman for the provincial government of Bali, told Bisnis Bali that the island's administration is waiting for the disbursement of the much-needed anti-rabies funding. Explained Teneng: "Jakarta has promised funding of Rp. 15 billion via alterations to the 2010 State budget, but until now there's been no realization. The disbursement was originally promised in February, delayed until May, delayed further until August, then September. Now, here it is November and we still have no explanation from Jakarta."

Teneng also told of how a recent visit by members of Commission IV members from the National House of Representatives (DPR-RI) allowed members of the provincial administration to enquire after the anti-rabies funds, but this effort was also to no avail. The promised letter confirming the allocation and specifying its sourcing within the State Budget has apparently yet to be issued.

The lack of funding have put much-needed mass inoculation programs on hold for the indeterminate future.

Meanwhile, the plague of rabies continues. Through October 2010 a total of 25,000 dog bites have been recorded at Bali health centers. This compares with a total of 24,000 bites recorded for all of 2009. Human death link to rabies have now surpassed 105.

Related Article

[Bali Gets US$1.63 Million Help Fight Rabies].