Mataram, W Nusa Tenggara, (ANTARA News)- As many as 825 people were bitten by dogs in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province, and six of them - residents of Dompu District, were dead, a local official said.

"This is data per February 24, 2019. Most of the victims - 735 people, are residents of Dompu. Thirty two were confirmed of being infected with rabies, Budi Septiani, head of the NTB animal health office, said here, Monday.

In Bima District, 33 people were bitten by dogs, and in Sumbawa District 27, including four infected with rabies.

The number of people bitten by dogs in Bima Municipality was four, West Sumbawa six, Mataram seven, East Lombok four, and North Lombok 10.

The West Nusa Tenggara authorities have made a coordination effort with the Agriculture Ministry to control rabies in the province, by among other things conducting vaccination, particularly in Dompu and Sumbawa Districts.

Integrated public awareness campaigns on rabies were carried out in the districts of Dompu, Bima, Sumbawa, West Sumbawa, and Bima Municipality.

Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has worked with the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture and Dompu administration to train animal health officers to control rabies outbreak in the district.

The rabies outbreak in Dompu District, West Nusa Tenggara Province, has demonstrated the importance of capacity building for the related authorities, FAO Representative in Indonesia Stephen Rudgard remarked in a press statement made available to Antara on Feb 8, 2019.

"The outbreak of rabies in Dompu is very unfortunate and demonstrates the need to develop capacities within the local government, and especially the animal health service, to detect and respond to a priority disease, such as rabies," he emphasized.

In dealing with this problem, the Ministry of Agriculture's Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services (DGLAHS) has taken immediate actions to control the current rabies outbreak in the district.

Dompu District has been declared a rabies-infected area on January 27, 2019. The district`s Livestock and Animal Health Services recorded 544 dog bite cases from potential rabies vector animals between late 2018 and early February 2019.

Reporting by Awaludin, Fardah A

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Sri Haryati
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