In a distressing incident, Hafeezullah, a 24-year-old cobbler from Tanai in Tehsil Mamond, recounts the harrowing experience of his child being bitten by a rabid dog.

Despite seeking treatment at both the nearby Category D Hospital and the headquarters hospital, the unavailability of the required rabies vaccine compelled him to purchase expensive injections, totaling five in number.

The tribal district of Bajaur witnesses a concerning rise in the population of stray dogs, posing a constant threat to citizens and creating challenges for the district administration. The Lahore High Court’s ban on killing stray dogs by poisoning or shooting complicates the situation.

While the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government advocated for the sterilization of stray dogs, implementation hurdles, non-cooperation, and unclear responsibilities among authorities hinder progress.

Dr. Wazir Khan Safi, District Health Officer of Bajaur, highlights the urgency for the supply of anti-rabies vaccines, revealing 850 recorded cases of dog bites from January 2022 to December 2023. However, due to people seeking vaccination from nearby clinics, the actual number may be higher.

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Director Livestock Bajaur, Dr. Ziauddin, points out the responsibilities of the Livestock Department in sterilizing dogs but laments the lack of necessary equipment and facilities. The absence of a dedicated ward further complicates the issue.

Malik Sultan-e-Room, a local political and tribal leader, urges the district administration to establish a helpline for reporting stray dog attacks. He criticizes the lack of seriousness from the provincial government and district administration in addressing the escalating problem, emphasizing the need for accountability and effective implementation of policies like TNVR (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release).