In order to stamp out the lethal human anthrax by the year 2024 from the soils of tribal district Koraput, a mass vaccination drive of cattle has been started in the Anthrax endemic district. The programme aims to vaccinate around 4 lakh cattle in the district. The vaccination drive has begun under the ICMR Bhubaneswar Unit's - the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) - commissioned study to analyse the implementation of a 'One Health' intervention model based on the principles of Theory of Change (ToC) there.
"Koraput is an endemic district for anthrax disease in Odisha. The total number of Anthrax cases in the State is estimated at around 1,208, the human toll stood at 436. But the epicentre is Koraput. The district bears the burden of over 300 human anthrax cases, including 10 deaths, in the last 6-years. Besides, a large number of animal deaths are being recorded every year. Animal deaths are on the rise in the district. As maximum livestock vaccination coverage is one of the primary solutions to Anthrax, the ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre Bhubaneswar has initiated a demonstration project using “One health approach" for the elimination of human anthrax cases in collaboration with State and district level Health, veterinary and Forest departments. This mass vaccination drive will definitely help in breaking the chain of transmission of infection from animal to human. Also, it will animal resources in the Koraput district," said RMRC scientist Hari Ram Choudhary.
As a part of this project, the Koraput district administration has started a free livestock vaccination drive from Saturday. The vaccination drive was formally inaugurated at Similiguda in the presence of Chief district veterinary officer Tripathy and Hari Ram Choudhary, JyotiShandilya from ICMR - RMRC Bhubaneswar, among others.