Over 200 people have reportedly been attacked by stray dogs in Sialkot in the last two-and-a-half months.
People are complaining that it has become very difficult for them to step out of their homes. Some have even started using sticks to protect themselves.
Authorities have started a campaign to get rid of the stray dogs and have removed 4,000 dogs from the streets.
Locals say that according to the law of the Local Government Act, 2013, it is the responsibility of the district council to get rid of stray dogs. But they are only serving as silent spectators, they say.
Most anti-rabies vaccinations in Pakistan were imported from India but they don’t want to export the vaccine to Pakistan anymore. The vaccine imported from India costs Rs1,000 whereas the one imported from Europe costs Rs70,000. At public hospitals, cases of dog bites are treated for free. Public hospitals use the Indian vaccine because it’s cheaper. Some private hospitals in the city use the expensive European vaccines.
Pakistan Medical Association member Dr Qaiser Sajjad had told SAMAA TV that the time has come to start producing this vaccine in Pakistan. If the government can’t find a cheap alternative to the European vaccine, the number of deaths due to rabies will increase, he said.