The Global WHO/FAO/OIE Conference on rabies: Global
Elimination of Dog-Mediated Human Rabies – the Time Is Now, with the support of
the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) was held in Geneva on December
The representatives of National Ministries of Health and
Veterinary Services, key experts in the animal and public health, international
organizations including the WHO and OIE, experts of the FAO Reference Centres,
stakeholders involved in global, regional and national policymaking in health
protection field, non-governmental organizations (Associations of veterinary
and medical surgeons, etc.), donor organizations, national rabies coordinators
and private sector participated in the event. That was the first global event
over the entire history of the OIE, FAO and WHO when those leading
international organizations joined together their efforts to establish the
framework for global rabies eradication.
Incentives for coordinated actions targeted to dog
populations and humans by adapting control strategies that had proven efficient
were discussed. Dog-mediated human rabies claims ten thousands of human lives
annually despite that tools for rabies prevention and treatment are currently
available in the world and the fact that human rabies can be prevented in 100%
of cases. More than 95% human cases are caused by rabies-infected dog bites.
The overwhelming majority of victims are children that live in poor rural areas
with limited access to health services. Freedom from rabies is global public
good. Unlike many other zoonoses the tools needed to eradicate dog-mediated
human rabies already exist.
Regular vaccination of 70% of dogs in areas of rabies occurrence
can reduce the number of human cases to nil. Rabies eradication in dogs by
their vaccination is the most cost-effective method and the only long-term
solution. Therewith, costs associated with dog vaccination could constitute only
10% of the costs associated with rabies post-exposure treatment for humans.
An action plan that, as expected, will ensure rapid
post-exposure prevention in all rabies-endemic areas and will provide a basis
for extending ongoing large-scale vaccination of dogs is adopted at the
Conference. The plan calls for efficient implementation of the basic key
actions: assurance of human vaccine and immunoglobulin accessibility as well as
mass vaccination of dogs for the disease eradication at the source. Vaccination
of dogs is the key element of the new approach to rabies eradication.
The Rosselkhoznadzor-subordinated FGBI “Federal Centre for
Animal Health” was represented at the Conference by Andrey Oganesyan, Head of
the Risk Analysis Unit of the Information and Analysis Centre.
The FGBI “ARRIAH” participation in the WHO/FAO/OIE Global
Conference on Global Elimination of Dog-Mediated Human Rabies – the Time Is Now
that has laid the basis through joint efforts of its participants for global
rabies eradication by 2030 acknowledges the FGBI”ARRAIH” status as the OIE
Collaboration Centre for diagnosis and control of animal diseases for Eastern
Europe, Central Asia and Transcaucasia as well as contributes to the global
initiative for rabies control.