The reason is less mysterious than many seem to think
Many were puzzled when dogs in Dhaka’s streets started to turn pink since last week. As more and more dogs across the city began to get pink, it was obvious that someone was going around and systematically splashing them with coloured water.
As it turns out, this is the result of a vaccination drive being carried out by Dhaka city corporations with help of Health and Family Welfare Ministry's Communicable Diseases Control (CDC) unit, World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations.
The drive, also called Mass Dog Vaccination (MDV), is meant to reduce the occurrences of rabies. The pink colour is to simply mark the dogs that have been vaccinated.
The life-saving vaccination will save not only the dog from rabies but any human it may attack after getting rabies. Before the MDV drive, 2,500 people used to die every year from rabies. Since the program started in 2012, the number dropped down to 300-400, according to CDC figures.
Dr M Mujibur Rahaman, a veterinary doctor and consultant for the CDC told Dhaka Tribune that many concerned citizens contacted authorities fearing that the dogs are being marked for being put down.
He assured that the dogs are not going to be put down. He said that the pink colour is temporary and is only being used to mark the dogs that have already been vaccinated.
The MDV drive of 2019 has so far vaccinated a whopping 13 lakh dogs. Right now the drive is taking place all over Dhaka and will later be implemented in other parts of the country.
This is the first of three rounds that will take place from 2019-22. The drive is expected to drastically reduce the number of rabies related human deaths by vaccinating as many dogs as possible. Both pet and street dogs need to get the vaccination for the drive to be effective.
The drive will continue till May 20 and all dog owners are encouraged to get this vaccine for their pets, free of cost.