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Joining efforts to combat rabies

The following stories show the actions carried out by several Member Countries to fight against rabies. All the tools to eliminate the disease at its animal source already exist and the OIE proposes various programmes to support its Members in the implementation of their national rabies elimination strategies.

Discover here how these programmes can benefit countries.


Supporting national strategies against rabies

Northern Communal Area (Namibia) - 2016-2018

Implementing a national rabies elimination strategy is a long-term process which involves many different actors. In order to best accompany countries’ effort to eliminate the disease, the OIE puts in place various programmes.

A recent example is the launch of a 3-year project in northern Namibia, where 93% of the country’s dog rabies cases occur. Commenced shortly after the launch of the government’s National Rabies Control Strategy, this project aims to escalate the number of vaccinated dogs and to increase awareness among the population, with the objective of eliminating rabies. An initial pilot phase was implemented in the Oshana region from March 2016: following its success it has been extended to seven neighbouring areas (Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Kunene, Omusati, Kavango West, Kavango East, Zambezi) and will run until May 2018.

Lessons learnt from this successful example will help improve rabies control in Southern Africa.


Vaccinating stray dogs to save human lives

Tunis (Tunisia) - May 2017

Rabies still kills humans in several parts of the world.
95% of human rabies cases are caused by bites from infected dogs. Therefore, vaccinating dogs is the best way to prevent human deaths caused by rabies.

In the framework of its national rabies control programme, Tunisia organises annual mass dog vaccination campaigns. However, vaccinating stray dogs remains a major challenge because they are often difficult to catch.

In order to address this issue effectively, the Tunisian Authorities in charge of animal health have decided to take action and requested OIE’s support. In 2017, the OIE organised a workshop to train professionals from the Municipality of Tunis in charge of mass dog vaccination to catch and handle stray and aggressive dogs.

Discover the outcomes in this short video!

Read more:
OIE workshop on handling of stray and aggressive dogs in the field


Rehabilitating vet facilities to prevent rabies in dogs

Maseru (Lesotho) - September 2016

The access to quality veterinary facilities is essential for efficient rabies control in affected countries. It contributes to managing dog populations, carrying out dog vaccinations and raising awareness on the disease among dog owners.

In countries where rabies is still present, mass dog vaccination campaigns are the most cost-effective way to control the disease. Indeed by vaccinating 70% of dogs in at-risk areas, rabies could be eradicated.

In 2016, the OIE funded the refurbishment of a government veterinary clinic and kennels in Lesotho in order to help them implement their vaccination campaigns.

To escalate support to its Member Countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the OIE will hand over another refurbished facility in Maputo (Mozambique) on World Rabies Day 2017.


Vaccinating dogs to move towards rabies eradication

Haiti - April 2017

Among the existing measures to eradicate the disease, dogs’ vaccination plays a central role.

In 2017, the Haitian National Anti-rabies Programme carried out a 3-month mass dog vaccination campaign with the objective to vaccinate 70% of their dog population. To support this campaign, the OIE provided 100.000 doses of vaccines through its Rabies Vaccine Bank, with the support of the Canadian Government. 

Thanks to this vaccine provision, Haiti could focus on other aspects of their rabies elimination programme. They could notably invest in technological innovations and equip the personal in charge of vaccination with smartphones to have a better knowledge of the dog population.

Implementing such vaccination campaigns on a regular basis can contribute to eradicate rabies in Haiti.

Vaccinate dogs now!

©F.Marcadieu/ Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Haiti

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