Monday, June 15, 2020

Outbreak of Canine Distemper: Yet Another Service Project By The Rotary Club of Thimphu

Twenty-five days after funding of US$ 59,000.00 was approved by the TRF, our Club’s Community Service Project to supply hospital incinerators to help battle the COVID-19 is still firmly entrenched in the ceaseless whirlpool of systems and procedures. But that does not deter us – we move on.

Dear Club Members,

Arising out of the need for physical distancing necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Club Members have not been able to meet and discuss community service project proposals. As you may recall our Club’s Weekly Meeting remains suspended as of March 6, 2020 in compliance to the government's directives to restrict gatherings. Nonetheless, as you may have noticed, our community service work has not been hampered – it goes on unabated.

Recently an URGENT call for HELP was sounded out to the Club by the Royal Society for Protection and Care of Animals (RSPCA), headed by our own Club Member Rtn. Tashi Payden Tshering, arising out of the large scale infection of a virus known as Canine Distemper – among the canine population of Bhutan. Although worrisome, the Canine Distemper is a preventable disease and curable if caught at the early stages – through the administration of a vaccine that is already available in the market. The fact that the outbreak has happened during the pandemic period of the COVID-19, we fear that it may be linked to the shortage of food to the canines – caused by the closure of over a hundred hotels brought about by the ban on entry of tourists into the country.

The Club President and I reviewed the request and came to the decision that this is an emergency condition that deserves our Club’s consideration. Our Club’s intervention would help in further spread of the virus among the canine population of the country. We do not need another virus to spread – to further aggravate the COVID-19 contagion that looms large over us. The fear is that if the spread is not arrested in time, it could spread among the wildlife, which would not be good. Thus I would like to convey to all the Members that the Club President and I agreed to support the supply of vaccines to the RSPCA.

On a related note, you may be aware that the government has instituted a Waste Management & Stray Dogs Population Control Flagship Program, under the NEC. We believe that our support to the RSPCA would complement this important initiative of the Royal Government.

Thanking you, I remain, in anticipation of your support,

Yeshey Dorji
Club Secretary

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