Doctors here have achieved a major success in making theu00a0costly rabid animal bite treatment affordable to poor patients in Himachal Pradesh through innovating drug administration technique.
Dr Omesh Kumar Bharti, Field Epidemiologist with state government in Shimla, who was lead researcher of the team that conducted the study, said, “It took seven years to conceptualise and execute this research methodology.”
“The treatment of rabid animal bites involves huge expenditure world over, ranging from Rs 2,700 to Rs 31,500 that included vaccination and life saving rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) but have been able to bring down the cost to Rs 650 through innovative techniques,” said Dr Bharti.
The study was conducted in association with the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Rabies, Department of Neurovirology at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru.
The first of its kind study is based on the treatment of more than 2,000 animal bite patients and follow up of 269 patients having category-III wounds inflicted by suspected or confirmed rabid animals over a year in DDU, hospital.
As per WHO protocol, the immunoglobulin (calculated on the basis of body weight) should be injected as much as required in the wound and whatever is left should be administered intra-muscularly.
“We took the cue from here and limited the use of immunoglobulin only within the wound because of shortage of immunoglobulin,” the doctor said.
The new technique was introduced after a thorough study of available scientific evidences worldwide and verification of blood samples from NIMHANS, Bengaluru.
The immunoglobulin is a live product that neutralises virus immediately till vaccination induces active immunity against the rabies virus and therefore the cost of immunoglobulin is prohibitive for the poor patient.
“All the patients were followed for nine months and they were found to be healthy and normal at the end of observation period.
“With local infiltration, required small quantities of RIG could be made available to all patients in times of short supply in the market,” the study said.