Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian
23/05/2023 08:40 PM

KUCHING, May 23 (Bernama) – Despite describing the number of human rabies cases in Sarawak as alarming, Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the state government remained committed to eliminating it by 2030, in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s target.

He said the state government would do everything in its power to curb the spread of the deadly disease and Sarawak could be declared rabies-free if the state remains free of animal and human rabies for a period of at least two consecutive years.

"Currently, there are 31 post-bite clinics with anti-rabies vaccines set up to deal with the situation throughout the state.

“We have also conducted continuous awareness talks and distributed brochures to the community to empower them with knowledge of prevention and control the spread of rabies,” he said when winding up for his ministry at the State Legislative Assembly sitting here, today.

Dr Sim, who is also the State Public Health, Housing and Local Government Minister said this year alone, a total of 4,807 animal bites were reported, with an average of 253 cases per week or 36 cases per day.

“The number of human rabies cases is alarming. There have been 66 cases of human rabies (reported since the first case in 2017), with 11 cases reported in 2023 until May 13 alone, compared to 14 cases in 2022 and 10 cases in 2021. 

"There are only seven survivors (from the total number of cases), including two in 2023," he added.