Eliminating human rabies deaths: targeting the elimination of rabies

Published on August 31, 2020   33 min

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Why do we think it is feasible to eliminate canine rabies? I'm going to be presenting some of the evidence globally, but also focusing on some of our own work in East Africa. This has been an area of particular interest because of the questions around the epidemiology of the disease in multi-hosting complex natural communities where you have many different mammalian species.
But, if we first looked at Latin America, we can learn an awful lot about some of the key factors in successful control and elimination. From having been endemic throughout the region, today human rabies transmitted from dogs is only reported in seven of 35 countries of Latin America. A real key factor in success has been investments made in mass dog vaccination. If we compare the expenditure on rabies control and prevention in Asia and Latin America, in Asia for example, we see that expenditure per capita is actually very high and it's higher than in Latin America. But most of this is focused on the provision of a human vaccine for PEP, very literally is spent on dog vaccination. While PEP can save lives, it's still not reaching those most in need and we're still seeing 37 or so thousand human deaths every year. In contrast, if you look at the situation in Latin America, fairly modest investments in dog vaccination, and this is equivalent to about 20 percent of the total costs of rabies control has been sufficient to bring dog rabies closed to elimination. This has been achieved even with a lower per capita spent on human vaccine than in Asia.

Eliminating human rabies deaths: targeting the elimination of rabies

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