A new milestone in the journey towards rabies elimination
It is well recognized that by developing and implementing organised disease control strategies, countries reduce their related public health and economic burdens. To encourage countries’ use of such strategies, and as part of its continued efforts to support dog-mediated rabies elimination by 2030, the OIE invites its Members, on a voluntary basis, to apply by 18 September 2020 to have their official control programmes for dog-mediated rabies endorsed.
Controlling dog-mediated rabies at the national level
The effective control of dog-mediated rabies requires a coordinated multisectoral approach. The key to success in control efforts is to break the disease transmission cycle at its animal source (i.e. in dogs). In this regard, the development of control programmes at the national level best rely on multi faceted activities, including mass dog vaccination campaigns, improved rabies diagnosis and surveillance, t he effective management of stray-dog populations, and increased awareness of the disease through educational campaigns and community engagement. Moreover, at the heart of the efficient implementation of such strategies is political commitment and the availability of funding.
What a re the benefits of having an endorsed official control programme?
By compiling evidence that their national programmes comply with the requirements of OIE International Standards (and more specifically with the recommendations of Article 8.14.11. of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code), it will be easier for national Veterinary Services to advocate for support from their governments and hence to progressively prevent and control the disease until they can eventually prove its absence on their territories. This will be a preliminary step before countries can self-declare freedom from dog-mediated rabies on their territories to OIE.
The numerous benefits of the endorsement for OIE Members include:
- wider access to international expertise and capacity-building activities;
- increased engagement of governments in rabies elimination;
- facilitated access to international funding;
- stronger coordination at the regional level to eliminate the disease;
- support to WHO validation on rabies elimination.
To learn more about the application process, national authorities are invited to visit the dedicated OIE webpage. A questionnaire has been developed to provide them with guidelines on how to prepare their application by 18 September 2020.The first group of countries’ national rabies programmes will be endorsed in May 2021 at the next General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates.
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