The World Health Organization (WHO), launched a new framework to eliminate human rabies and help save tens of thousands of lives each year.
The framework did call for 3 key actions
- Making human vaccines and antibodies affordable
- Ensuring people who get bitten to receive prompt treatment, and
- Mass dog vaccinations to tackle the disease at its source.
Through vaccination and timely immunization after exposure, rabies is 100% preventable, but access to post-bite treatment is expensive and not affordable in many countries.
The WHO Director, Dr. Margaret Chan, made it known that if this new comprehensive approach is followed, rabies can be consigned as a thing of the past.
It is noted that in Asia and Africa, tens of thousands of people die from rabies each year and worldwide. The new framework emphasizes prevention through vaccination of dogs, recognizing that human vaccination is currently not always affordable.
Bringing this treatment closer to victims and providing wider access to affordable vaccines and potent rabies immunoglobulins, which neutralize the rabies virus before it can get a hold in the body would be vital to achieving zero rabies deaths.
WHO and OIE Vaccine Bank have delivered more than 15million doses of canine rabies vaccines in many countries.
The conference tagged “Global elimination of dog-mediated human rabies – The Time Is Now” is jointly organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the support of the Global Alliance for the Control of Rabies (GARC).