Program helps DVMs fight rabies in Africa

Program helps DVMs fight rabies in Africa

Sep 12, 2009
By staff
Roseland, N.J. -- Veterinarians can help fight rabies in Africa between now and the end of the year through a special program backed by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.

For every dose of select dog and cat vaccines purchased by U.S. veterinarians during the four-month period, the company will donate a dose of canine rabies vaccine to Afya Serengeti, which means "Health for Serengeti" in Swahili. The company also is a sponsor of World Rabies Day, Sept. 28.

Intervet/Schering-Plough, now in its third year with the Afya Serengeti project, has committed up to 250,000 doses of the rabies vaccine worldwide this year, of which 150,000 will come from the United States. To date, veterinarians' support has led to 900,000 donated vaccine doses.

About 100 children die daily from rabies. In Africa alone, where domestic dogs account for 84.2 percent of rabies cases, about 25,000 people die yearly from the disease. A vaccination zone has been set up around the Serengeti National Park, with regular clinics where owners can bring their pets to be registered and vaccinated. By the second year of the project, the number of people needing care for bites from rabid dogs dropped by 82 percent.

For information about the project and to donate, click here.