Australia has donated 400,000 dog rabies vaccines to Indonesia to combat the spread of the disease.
Acting Australian Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Beth Cookson, said collaborating with Indonesia not only supports our neighbour to control dog rabies and prevent deaths in communities, but also helps keep Australia free of the disease.
“Rabies first spread to Bali in 2008 and given there are around 650,000 dogs in Bali it’s important as many as possible are vaccinated annually,” Dr Cookson said.
“That’s why the dog rabies vaccines, funded by Australia through the World Organisation for Animal Health vaccine bank, are so important to protecting people in Indonesia and helping stop the spread of rabies in our region.
“Today is World Rabies Day, and we can use today to take stock of what we can do in our region to prevent this disease from spreading further. The theme is ‘Rabies: All for 1, One Health for All’, and it’s a lesson we can take in our approach.
“By vaccination, community awareness and collaboration between governments, communities, human health, animal health and NGOS, we can stop the spread between animals and humans and save lives.”
The vaccines build on the 200,000 doses provided to Indonesia last year.
At least 59,000 people globally a year are killed from rabies, and 40 percent of these are children. Over 99% of human rabies cases are caused by virus infected dogs through saliva transmitted in dog bites and scratches.
The department is hosting a webinar for World Rabies Day, ‘One Health in action for zero rabies deaths globally by 2030’, with Dr Cookson, Dr Andrea Britton and Dr Melanie Bannister Tyrrell.