The Kenya Ministries of Health and of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries today launched the National Rabies Elimination Coordination Committee (NRECC), tasked with implementing the 2014 National Strategic Plan for the Elimination of Human Rabies in Kenya (2014 – 2030).
The initiative is supported by the two national Ministries, through the inter-ministerial Zoonotic Disease Unit (ZDU), and the five initially targeted County Governments of Kisumu, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni and Siaya, as well as by a broad coalition of organisations, amongst which the OIE, which is funding the efforts of Kenya to control rabies in selected counties.
This is part of a broader OIE rabies project which was launched earlier this year as part of the “Strengthening Veterinary Services in Developing Countries” in Africa project. This project, funded by the European Parliament (European Union) until December 2018, also includes the establishment of an OIE-managed continental vaccine bank for (dog) rabies (already operational) and the coordination of rabies control policies in selected countries in northern Africa (starting up).
The campaign in Kenya is further supported by the African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), the European Commission, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), the Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Protocol (KFELTP), the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), the Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA), the Nation Media Group (NMG), the One Health Central and East Africa (OHCEA) network, Sanofi-Pasteur, Sharon Live On Foundation (SLOF), the Standard Media Group (SMG), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the University of Nairobi (UoN), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Washington State University (WSU), the Wellcome Trust and World Animal Protection (WAP).
Kenya estimates that currently more than 2,000 people, mostly children, die every year of rabies caused by bites of unvaccinated dogs, whereas the vaccination of dogs is cheap and effective.
More information on rabies : OIE rabies portal
To officially launch the campaign, which commits Kenya until 2030 to eliminate dog-mediated human rabies across the country, the Permanent Secretaries of both Ministries were handed the terms of reference of the NRECC and launched the new website www.rabiesfreekenya.com, which is now live
All pictures (c) P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2016.
All pictures (c) P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2016