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Mass dog vaccination is the most cost-efficient to rabies elimination

Photo from dog vaccination drive in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Treatment to eliminate Dog-Mediated Rabies

There is widespread evidence that mass dog vaccination, combined with a more systematic introduction of Humane Dog Population Management (DPM) and the availability of PEP treatment for humans bitten by a rabid dog, is the most cost-efficient and equitable approach to rabies elimination.?

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Governments must acknowledge that eliminating rabies is a collective responsibility.

Treatment for human rabies is much more expensive and often inaccessible than the cost of programmes for control and prevention of dog rabies. Considerably less amount in comparison to the amount spent on post-bite treatment could eliminate dog-mediated rabies in affected areas if spent on dog rabies prevention.

This approach has been successful in Latin America, where cases of rabies in humans have fallen by 95% and in dogs by 98% since the 1980s. Close to 100 million dogs were vaccinated against rabies in one year in the region. World Animal Protection’s ‘All Eyes On Dogs’ report highlights the importance of focusing on dogs and details strategies that Mexico has used to eliminate rabies. In the last 30 years, Mexico has experienced no human rabies transmitted by dog bites and has been declared a country free of human rabies transmitted by dog bites. Kenya is also successful in implementing its pilot programme named ‘Makueni County Rabies Elimination Pilot Project’.? ?

This report concludes with a set of actions for each stakeholder group (governments, donor bodies, the private sector, the veterinary community and individuals). Governments must acknowledge that eliminating rabies is a collective responsibility. By adopting a One Health approach, working with neighbours and partners, and above all vaccinating at least 70% of the national dog population, they can achieve the vision of a dog-mediated human rabies-free world by 2030.

Rabies elimination is possible through structured implementation and adequate resources

Voluntária alimenta gatos e c?es em rua em Fortaleza, Ceará

It's time to eradicate rabies and set example for other countries

It is imperative for a country like India to use tried and tested solutions to eliminate dog mediated rabies.

Humans and dogs can live in harmony.

The dog population is increasing rapidly in almost every state in India. As per the National Health Profile 2018, all the people who contracted rabies due to dog bites are succumbed to it and died. With an increase in the dog population, incidents of stray dog attacks are also on the rise. Children are the worst affected by dog bites and attacks. These incidents direct people to have a strong opinion of culling and destroying dogs or opting for quick solutions like relocation. These quick solutions would not solve the problem at all but only subsided it for some time. Rabies elimination and preventing reoccurrence is possible with thorough planning, well-coordinated, structured implementation, and adequate resources. It can reduce national health costs, enhance equitable access to good health outcomes. Humans and dogs can live in harmony.

Evidently, emerging zoonotic viruses have the potential to cause pandemic diseases, causing extensive human mortality and creating international crises. Governments and scientists worldwide have recognized that greater interdisciplinary collaboration was required to prevent and control zoonoses under the “One Health” Approach.

It is more than ever crucial for India to implement humane dog population management and rabies elimination programme bringing together all the stakeholders to eradicate rabies and set an example for other countries in the region to follow India’s footprint.?

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