Bengaluru: Stray dogs maul 4-year-old boy

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Bengaluru (DHNS): The canine menace has returned to haunt Bengalureans on Friday when four stray dogs bit a toddler on face, leaving him badly injured. The incident occurred at KP Agrahara, off Magadi Road, at 6:30 pm.

Four-year-old Naveen was playing outside his house when a pack of four dogs attacked him. They bit his nose and cheek. Onlookers who saw the kid battling with the strays rushed to his rescue. By the time the dogs were shooed away, Naveen was badly injured and bleeding profusely.

Naveen’s parents Rathna and Kumar rushed him to a nearby nursing home who referred him to Victoria Hospital, since it could lead to a medico-legal case. The parents rushed the child to the Victoria Hospital only to learn that the Anti Rabies Clinic at the hospital was closed. The child was then referred to Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences near  Victoria Hospital, sources said.

Shortage of serum vaccine

Doctors at the KIMS had a tough time searching for anti- rabies serum vaccine as none of the medical shops in the vicinity had it. Till 10.30 pm, the parents of the child, hospital staff and others were running around to find the vaccine. A senior doctor at the KIMS told Deccan Herald that for the past two months there is severe shortage of vaccine due to the increase in dog bite cases.

“On an average, we get 15 cases in the morning and about 10 in the evening,” said the doctor. He added that the government hospitals have adequate medicine and equipment to deal with it but they close down their units by 4 pm. “Since we are the only hospital specialising in serum vaccination, all the cases in the City are referred to us. The government must ensure adequate supply of serum vaccine in the market,” the doctor said.

Mayor N Shanthakumari and the Hosahalli ward Corporator Dr S Raju visited the hospital and enquired about the health of the child.

The incident brought the focus back on the failure of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s Animal Birth Control programme. For the last two years, sterilisation of dogs has been paralysed due to the non-payment of dues to the non-government organisations, which were engaged in the work. As per the Supreme Court guidelines, dogs cannot be culled. At the most, they can be sterilised to contain their population. Add to it, Dr Parvez Ahmed Piran, who headed the Animal Husbandry Department and did a remarkable work in controlling dog population, was sent back to his parent department.

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