Friday, September 25, 2009

Veterinary industry marks World Rabies Day


In support of World Rabies Day efforts, two manufacturers of veterinary rabies vaccines are raising awareness of the disease and working to combat its spread in Africa.
Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has announced that it will again sponsor rabies vaccine donations to the Afya Serengeti project. In recognition of the urgent need for global rabies control, veterinarians in the United States can participate in canine rabies vaccination and donation program to save lives in the Serengeti region of Africa.
Each day, approximately 100 children die from rabies. In Africa alone, around 25,000 people die from this horrible and preventable disease each year. Kept as both pets and working animals, domestic dogs are an essential part of everyday life in the Serengeti, yet they account for 84.2% of rabies cases. Controlling the disease in domestic dogs means reducing deaths from rabies in children.
For every dose of select dog and cat vaccines purchased by US veterinarians between September 1 and December 31, 2009, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health will donate a dose of canine rabies vaccine to Afya Serengeti, which means “Health for Serengeti” in Swahili. By vaccinating and keeping pets healthy here in the United States, veterinarians and pet owners can extend help to Africa to control this devastating disease.
Afya Serengeti is a rabies control project that works to control rabies in this region of Tanzania by vaccinating domestic dogs. These dogs are responsible for more than 8 of 10 cases of the deadly disease. Pet owners become part of this important cause when their pets are vaccinated with a Continuum canine or feline vaccine, Nobivac Lyme or Canine Influenza Vaccine, H3N8.
Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has committed up to 250,000 doses worldwide to the project this year, of which 150,000 will come from the United States. To date, the support of veterinarians throughout the world has enabled the global animal health company to donate more than 900,000 doses as well as subsidize the purchase of a vehicle for the delivery of vaccines to a larger geographic area.
Veterinarians can visit www.afya.org to make a donation, learn more about the issue, and view videos about the impact of the project on the Serengeti region.
In other news, the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) chapters competed to raise funds for rabies prevention and education programs. This year's winner, Kansas State University (K-State), earned an on-site rabies symposium sponsored by Merial, held on Sept. 19.
"Rabies awareness and education is critical to public health and safety in the United States and around the world," said Ralph Richardson, DVM, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at K-State. "Kansas State University is committed to efforts that help prevent rabies and is excited to be the host of the Merial Rabies Symposium."
With the recent passing of George Baer, DVM, MPH, the "father of oral rabies vaccination," this year's event had a special meaning. Baer was regarded as an international wildlife rabies expert and was credited with developing one of the first oral vaccines that eliminated red fox rabies from several countries in Western Europe. In recognition of his efforts, the 2009 rabies symposium was dedicated to him.
In addition to the symposium, Merial supports other rabies awareness and educational efforts, including the sponsorship of nine rabies training seminars for Noah's Wish, an international nonprofit organization that rescues and cares for endangered animals during natural disasters.

Issue Date: Veterinary Forum
September 2009
(Vol 26, No 9)


1 comment:

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