The Pasteur Institute in collaboration with the Kampong Cham provincial health department are to open a temporary rabies prevention centre on Thursday offering free shots, the former has announced.
The creation of provincial centres is important so those bitten by a rabies-infected animal can receive injections in time, the Pasteur Institute Cambodia announced on Monday.
Dr Ly Sowath, from the Pasteur Institute’s Epidemiology and Public Health Unit, on Tuesday said the centre will be located in the Kampong Cham Provincial Referral Hospital.
The temporary centre is aimed to help reduce the number of deaths by rabies, he said.
“Due to the strategic location of Kampong Cham, we set up the centre there so people from nearby provinces can also easily access it,” he said.
The services the centre will provide, Sowath added, are an extension of what the Pasteur Institute has been offering at its Phnom Penh facility.
He said the centre is scheduled to open its doors to the public every day, except on Sundays, and operate from 7am to 5pm on weekdays and 7am to 11:30am on Saturdays and public holidays.
There were reports of people overwhelming vaccination facilities across the country following the death of a 10-year-old girl on February 12 in Svay Rieng province after she was scratched by a cat in December.
Dr Sowath said that on February 25 alone, the Pasteur Institute saw between 500 and 600 people come for vaccinations against rabies after hearing of the case.
“The number of people seeking such injections at our facility in Phnom Penh has decreased a bit since then, but many people are still seeking rabies shots at other centres,” he said.
Asked how many people in total have received rabies shots at the institute since the scare emerged, Sowath said he was unable to disclose the information.
The Pasteur Institute began operating its Rabies Prevention Centre in Phnom Penh in 1995.