Wake Up Call for Vadodara
India - Back in June, it was reported that the city of Ahmedabad, India (population about 4.5 million) recorded 200 dog bites in a single day. The three major hospitals in the city recorded 80,000 bites in 2007, which averages more than 200 per day. The combination of a packed population and scores of loose, unaltered dogs has clearly become a health problem of epidemic proportion.
This week it was reported that the city of Vadodara, India (population about 1.6 million) had 800 bites in one month, which is close to 30 bites per day. The size of Vadodara is about 3 times smaller than Ahmedabad. Even if one increased the size of Vadodara by 3 (to reach a similar population to Ahmedabad), there would still only be 90 bites per day -- less than half of the epidemic that is occurring in Ahmedabad.
As in the case of Ahmedabad, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has reportedly failed to take the issue seriously, even though they are directed to by the Animal Birth Control (ABC) Scheme, which says they must sterilize and vaccinate all stray dogs. One hospital official, on condition of anonymity, said, "Stray dogs are even seen inside the hospital wards, which is extremely unhygienic."
If you apply the same math to a U.S. city, one can start to see the massiveness of India's problem. Vadodara has a population 2.6 times greater than Seattle. Given Seattle's current bite statistics, multiplied by 2.6, one still only gets about 50 bites per month, which is vastly different than Vadodara's 800. The two cities may be a bad comparison, but there is no doubt that the dog bite problem in large India cities is enormous.
06/24/08: Over 200 Bites Reported in India Town in One Day