The Ministry of Health (MOH) is urging owners of pets, such as dogs and cats, in Sarawak to get them vaccinated, to curb the spread of rabies in the state.
Its Deputy Minister Datuk Lukanisman Awang Sauni said this is because the current rabies outbreak situation in Sarawak is quite worrying.
He said that preventive measures are being carried out by the Sarawak state government, including the Department of Veterinary Services, which runs a vaccination programme for pets.
“It is understood that the Department of Veterinary Services, in collaboration with local authorities (PBT), has opened a counter where pet owners can come and register their animals for injections.
“As for stray (or wild) animals, vaccination injections will be made when the authorities act on a complaint. This is important because dogs move in groups, and often enter residential areas,” he said, at the Mount Austin Stadium here today.
He added that he was concerned about the rabies situation in the state, so prevention efforts should be organised regularly.
He said this after officiating at the MOH’s National Sports Carnival, in conjunction with the ‘Healthy, Prosperous Malaysia Month’, at Mount Austin Stadium.
Also present were Johor Health and Unity Committee chairman, Ling Tian Soon and state Health Department director, Dr Mohtar Pungut.
In the meantime, he said that observation of the rabies outbreak was focused on Sarawak, because cases in that state are quite serious, with 15 deaths due to rabies reported this year.
“The situation (outbreak) of rabies in Peninsular Malaysia is under control. From 2020 to 2023, there were only three cases recorded in Selangor, compared with 75 cases in Sarawak for that period,” he said when asked if there were cases of rabies in Peninsular Malaysia.
Previously, Sarawak Health director Dr Ooi Choo Huck informed that 17 cases were recorded in the state for the period from Jan to Sept 17, involving five cases in Sibu Division, Serian (four), Kuching (three), Bintulu (three) and Samarahan (two). — Bernama