Gates Foundation gift to help veterinarians fight rabies in Africa, Philippines

Oct 06, 2009
By staff
Geneva, Switzerland -- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given almost $10 million to the World Health Organization to help fight rabies in Tanzania, South Africa and the Philippines using a plan developed at Scotland’s Glasgow University veterinary school.

The project represents a “paradigm shift” in tackling the disease, according to a WHO spokesperson. The $9,996,674 plan moves away from mass dog culling and toward domestic dog vaccinations. Researchers say the method worked in fighting rabies in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in the 1990s.

Major objectives also include improving delivery of post-exposure prophylaxis to human victims, surveillance and building a strategy to sustain rabies-free status in all three countries.

The World Health Organization’s Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases will oversee the three-country project, with help from Glasgow University specifically in Tanzania.