05/30/19 03:59

Workshop on Enhancing Progress Towards Rabies Elimination “Zero by 30” in the SAARC Region

Kathmandu, Nepal, 26-28 June 2019

Rabies, a 100% vaccine preventable yet neglected disease, claims tens of thousands of human lives every year, mostly among underprivileged and marginalized populations in Asia and Africa. Over 95% of human cases of rabies are due to dog bites and it has also been proven in several countries and regions that elimination of rabies as a public health problem is feasible through regional cooperation. However, rabies elimination in many rabies-endemic countries in the region is mostly hampered by the lack of funding and support provided by the governments.

Regionally, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have come together to support rabies control activities in the region by organizing regional/sub-regional rabies workshops involving both human and animal health sectors.

There is huge variation in the progress achieved by member states for rabies control in the SAARC sub-region. While some countries have made significant progress in reducing dog-mediated human rabies cases thus indicating possible achievement of the disease elimination even before 2030 (the global target year for elimination of dog-mediated human rabies), there are others that still do not have a comprehensive national plan (policy and strategy) and inter-sectoral collaboration mechanisms to respond to rabies thereby posing significant challenges in achieving the global goal on time.

Thanks to the funding support by the people of Japan, the tripartite (FAO-OIE-WHO) along with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), the Wolrd Animal Protection (WAP) and its other partners, will jointly organise the Workshop on Enhancing Progress Towards Rabies Elimination “Zero by 30” in the SAARC Region, in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 26-28 June 2019. The workshop will be a follow up of the Tripartite-lead SAARC Rabies Workshop organised in Sri Lanka in 2015 and will provide a forum to review country progress, share success stories, good practices, discuss issues of mutual concern and identify concrete national and regional roadmaps or plans to achieve the global elimination goal.