National strategy needed for rabies elimination: WHO

Rabies kills nearly 25,000 people every year in the WHO South-East Asia Region which accounts for 45% of global deaths caused by the disease


Dr Poonam K Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia Region (Photo Courtesy:

Over 1.5 billion people in the Region are at risk of rabies infection.

Every year an estimated 4 million people take rabies preventive vaccines, mostly after dog bites.

About 40% people exposed to dog bites are children in the age group of 5 to 15 years.

As of today, rabies has no cure.

"Eliminating rabies is an important public health goal. National strategies are needed for rabies elimination with the focus on increasing public awareness and making cost-effective post-exposure vaccination available to all. Ensuring post-exposure rabies vaccination is available to all in an equitable manner, should be a key element of rabies elimination efforts," pointed Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia Region.


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