Six of Bali’s nine districts — including Denpasar, where Sanglah, the chief rabies hospital which has its own supplies, is sited– were out of anti-rabies vaccine at the weekend.
Provincial government spokesman Ketut Teneng said on Monday the
shortage was because districts had not budgeted for vaccine purchases and instead were relaying on the island’s government to provide it.
Districts without vaccine are Denpasar city, Badung, Tababan,
Klungkung, Bangli and Buleleng. Only Karangasem, Gianyar and Jembrana have supplies.
Dog-bite victims requiring anti-rabies shots are being referred to Sanglah Hospital.
Teneng said, at his Monday media briefing, that vaccine was in short
supply or had run out because demand for possible post-exposure anti-rabies shots was very high.
Some districts had not allocated funds since the rabies outbreak began
in 2008, he said.
Teneng revealed that in the six months to June the provincial government had spent about Rp2.5 billion (US$275,000) on the vaccine, known as VAR, and was allocated additional money through budget amendments.
The Bali health office announced this week that 36 dog bites where the
animal could be identified and tested (out of 28,633 reported bites) had returned positive rabies infection.
More than 60 people have died of rabies or suspected rabies since the disease was first identified in late 2008 in the Ungasan area of the southern Bukit, where several unexplained deaths from rabies-like symptoms had occurred earlier.