The OIE regional vaccine banks recently enabled the procurement and delivery of canine rabies vaccines to Indonesia, with the support of the Australian Government, The Philippines, with purchases made by the World Health Organization (WHO), and Tunisia with funding from the European Union to support the implementation of national dog vaccination campaigns against rabies in at risk areas.
Paris, 15 March 2016 - Rabies still causes the death of tens of thousands of people every year. Knowing that dog bites are responsible for more than 95% of all human rabies cases, the eradication of canine rabies is the only way to end the disease's animal-human transmission cycle.
“Combined with responsible pet ownership, stray dog population management and availability of human post-exposure treatment, mass dog vaccination quickly leads to the elimination of human deaths from rabies”, prompted Dr Eloit, OIE’s new Director General. Indeed, it is estimated that vaccinating 70% of dogs in zones where rabies is present can dramatically reduce human cases.
This strategy has proven to be successful in Mexico, for instance, where the number of rabid dogs has nearly dropped to zero after mass dog-vaccination campaigns, with a parallel decrease in human cases.
To enhance the implementation of such campaigns, the OIE regional vaccine bank mechanism recently enabled several deliveries of canine rabies vaccines to Tunisia, the Philippines and Indonesia:
Rabies: The Philippines respond
National rabies vaccination campaign (Tunisia, 2016)
Mass dog vaccination in at risk areas is considered to be one of the three key actions of the Global framework to eliminate rabies worldwide, which is the joint approach adopted by the WHO, the OIE, the FAO and the GARC in December 2015.
To support this framework, the OIE regional vaccine bank mechanism guarantees the availability of high-quality vaccines complying with OIE intergovernmental standards as well as their rapid delivery on the ground at a competitive price obtained following a global tender process involving potential suppliers.
© OIE/C. Dy
The free procurement allows the beneficiary countries to concentrate their efforts and limited resources on implementing other necessary actions, such as vaccination campaigns against rabies, management of stray dog populations and awareness raising among diverse populations.
In addition to the delivery of dog rabies vaccines, the OIE also supports activities such as recruiting and training dog vaccinators, producing educational material and conducting communication campaigns to raise awareness on the importance of responsible dog ownership.
© OIE/C. Dy
Although dog vaccination is the most cost-effective and only long-term solution to eliminate rabies, further investment is necessary to help countries globally implement national vaccination campaigns targeting canine rabies. Consequently, the WHO, OIE and FAO, with the support of GARC, developed a Rationale for investing in the global elimination of dog-mediated rabies, in order to help countries develop appropriate investment strategies to eliminate human rabies.