Global Strategic Plan: The Fight Against Rabies Deaths

Posted on 2021-06-18

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a zoonotic, viral disease. This affects the central nervous system and causes brain inflammation. In the worst cases, this can also lead to muscle paralysis and respiratory failure. To find out more visit Wildlife Removal. It is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.

Rabies virus is an RNA virus that belongs to the genus Lyssavirus. Its genome encodes 5 structural proteins: nucleoprotein, glycoprotein, matrix protein, phosphoprotein, and polymerase. This is a vaccine-preventable disease, currently occurring in more than 150 countries and territories.


The Global Strategic Plan to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030.

United Against Rabies (UAR) collaboration

  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • World Organisation for Animal Health
  • World Health Organization
  • Global Alliance for Rabies Control


1) Reduce the risk of human rabies through improved education and awareness, dog vaccination, and increased access to healthcare, medicines, and vaccines.
2) Provide guidance and data – reliable data for informed decision-making, effective policies and governance
3) Multi-stakeholder Engagement – United Against Rabies collaboration

Meeting Objectives

The fundamentals of rabies control are well established.
To be effective, there needs to be wide scale access to this knowledge for affected communities to implement these tools.

Vaccinating Dogs

In ~99% of human cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission. This is usually following a deep bite or scratch from an animal with rabies. However, bat rabies is emerging as a public health threat in Australia and Western Europe.

Rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease, and previously, programmes relied on the use of injectable vaccines. This has proven difficult to administer in low-income countries, with high stray dog populations, and no access to a veterinarian. This is where most cases occur, predominantly affecting poor and vulnerable populations.

An oral vaccine is gaining traction as a safe and effective alternative. This will be quicker, easier, and more cost-effective. 

"Thailand applies an oral vaccine in its free-roaming dog population. Working with partners, we identified the most appropriate bait for Thai free-roaming dogs. We worked with five cities/towns to roll out oral rabies vaccination in their areas in 2020, vaccinating almost 2,000 free-roaming dogs. We achieved 65% of vaccination coverage in the free-roaming dog population in these areas. All parties agreed that this tool is feasible and practical to increase vaccination coverage in inaccessible dog populations. More importantly, there have been no rabies outbreaks reported in free-roaming dogs in any of these five municipalities since oral vaccination was conducted."
- Karoon Chanachai, regional animal health advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Regional Development Mission for Asia

Bait Development
Getting dogs to eat a vaccine bait is much quicker and easier than capturing the animals to give them shots. Dogs may prefer different bait flavours based on what they are typically eating. We need to examine which types dogs prefer and ensure these can be mass produced. 
Resource Allocation Oral vaccines likely cost more than traditional injections. These must be planned and used appropriately to account for this.
Vaccine Licensures If entities such as the European Medicines Institute recognise regional veterinary vaccine licensures, this will reduce barriers in the delivery of safe and effective rabies vaccines. 

Further Reading: 

Rabies Key Facts

Zero By 30 - The Global Strategic Plan

Oral rabies vaccine: A new strategy in the fight against rabies deaths

Related Products: 

Human Rabies Virus (HRV) IgG Rapid Test Kit

Human Rabies Virus Antibody IgG ELISA Kit