KUCHING: All 32 immune belt enforcement teams (IBET) will monitor and guard Sarawak’s national borders to stop the spread of rabies.
State Security and Enforcement Unit (UKPN) director Datuk Dr Chai Khin Chung said IBET will ensure that Sarawak is free from rabies in the future.
He pointed out that IBET has six main tasks — targeted removal; surveillance on the dog movements; vaccinating dogs; collecting dog demographic data; establishing good relations with residents, and educating the general public as first responders in the control of this rabies disease.
“Our members have undergone seven courses and practical training to ensure that they are proficient in performing their duties.
“After that, they are ready to implement the objectives of IBET,” he said in his speech while officiating at the launch of IBET at Dataran Perayaan yesterday (Sept 26).
For the record, from 2017 until 2022, there have been 45 deaths in Sarawak caused by rabies.
“This year — until this month — Sarawak has seen an increase in rabies cases, that is, 11 compared to 10 in 2021.
“Due to this, with the devoted service of IBET, UKPS promise to work diligently to eradicate rabies in Sarawak,” he said, adding that the team is also ready to be assigned to handle the foot and mouth disease, African Swine Fever and other infectious diseases from time to time.
During the ceremony, two memorandums of understanding (MOU) were inked by UKPS with Sarawak Research and Development Council (SRDC) and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).
The purpose of the MOU was to establish cooperation to control infectious diseases and the use of joint facilities to find the best methods in the control of rabies.
Additionally, through the said cooperation, the potential of the IBET can be optimally exploited to achieve the objectives of its establishment.