Why in News?
A new initiative, ‘Zero by 30: The Strategic Plan’, to be launched by the WHO and its partners to end dog-transmitted rabies.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
Rabies is a viral disease that occurs in more than 150 countries and territories and is usually fatal once symptoms appear. Dog-transmitted rabies accounts for about 99 % of human rabies cases. Forty % of people bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age.
Eight of the 11 member countries of WHO South-East Asia Region account for nearly 26,000 rabies deaths, 45 % of the global rabies toll, as over 1.5 million people in the region remain at risk of rabies.
Zero By 30
The global rabies partners comprising the WHO, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UNICEF and rabies endemic countries from Asia-Pacific and Africa, are deliberating on measures to fast-track elimination of dog-transmitted rabies by 2030.
The plan centres on ‘One Health’ approach and addresses the disease in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner. It aims at preventing and responding to dog-transmitted rabies by improving awareness and education, reducing human rabies risk through expanded dog vaccinations, and improving access to healthcare, medicines and vaccines for populations at risk.
The rabies endemic countries are seeking GAVI support to improve affordability and access to rabies vaccines for vulnerable populations, of which many are children, it said. The WHO has been advocating for a shift from intramuscular to intradermal rabies vaccination, which is not only 60 to 80 % cheaper, but is of shorter treatment regimen of just one week.
NOTE4STUDENTS-Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is a public-private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.
Gavi brings together developing countries and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists.