Since rabies was declared endemic to East Nusa Tenggara in 1997, there has been little progress in the provincial government’s efforts to eliminate the zoonotic  disease, as the virus remains a serious health issue today. Reporting from Maumere, The Jakarta Post contributing writer Djemi Amnifu explains how the local government’s neglect, combined with the locals’ appetite for dog meat, has contributed to the spread of the deadly disease. 

by Djemi Amnifu

It has been two decades since the impoverished province of East Nusa Tenggara made a commitment to eradicating rabies, a disease transmitted from animals to humans, yet little has been achieved. Rabies, which is mostly transmitted by rabid dogs, remains prevalent on the main islands of Flores and neighboring Lembata. Over 250 deaths from the disease have been reported since then. Inter-island c...