The Sindh Health Department has issued a letter to District Health Officers (DHOs), underscoring the need for preventive measures against Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever during Eidul Azha.
Amid the ongoing trade of sacrificial animals, the department is urging heightened caution and preventive measures, particularly at sales points. It has delineated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for this purpose.
The letter highlights that Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever does not exhibit symptoms in infected animals, which makes proactive control and prevention imperative. Effective management necessitates vigilant monitoring of animal movement, in cooperation with the district administration.
The Sindh Health Department stresses the crucial role of communication between DHOs and the Animal Husbandry Department in ensuring efficient monitoring and control.
Furthermore, the letter recommends comprehensive inspection and decontamination of animals using pesticides to ward off infection. Animals should receive treatment at least 14 days prior to their introduction to sales centers. The potential risk of virus transmission between infected animals and humans warrants careful consideration.
To mitigate risks during Eidul Azha, several precautions are suggested:
- Avoid contact with blood and remains: Individuals should avoid all contact with the blood and remains of sacrificial animals to minimize the risk of infections and diseases.
- Avoid home slaughter: Instead of slaughtering animals at home, it is recommended to designate controlled areas for animal slaughter. This ensures a regulated environment, thus reducing the chances of accidents or mishaps.
- Provide proper training for personnel: Those involved in animal care and abattoir operations should undergo proper training in animal care and correct slaughtering procedures. This guarantees the safety and well-being of both the animals and the personnel involved.
- Emphasize hand hygiene: Maintaining high standards of hand hygiene is crucial during Eidul Azha. Regular and thorough hand washing helps to minimize the risk of contamination and disease spread.
- Use protective clothing: To minimize exposure to animal residues or bodily fluids, the use of gloves and other protective clothing is recommended. This provides an added layer of protection.
- Implement regular cattle inspections: Regular inspections for pests help to identify and promptly address any infestations, which in turn maintains the health and well-being of the animals.
- Prompt bleeding of animals: Animals should be bled as soon as possible post-slaughter. Proper bleeding helps to remove blood from the body, reducing contamination risk and improving meat quality.
- Limit access to premises: Access to animal slaughtering premises should be limited to rodents, insects, birds, and domestic animals to prevent the entry of unwanted pests, further reducing the risk of contamination.
- Adhere to safe disposal practices: Safe practices for the disposal of animal waste and blood are important. Appropriate disposal methods should be employed to prevent discarding them into rivers and waterways, which could cause environmental pollution.
By following these precautions, individuals can celebrate Eidul Azha while minimizing health risks and fostering a safe and hygienic environment for all participants.