Mapatsa, eSwatini (Swaziland)

Rabies Stakeholder Consultative Meeting in eSwatini (Swaziland)

OIE supports a Rabies Stakeholder Consultative Meeting in eSwatini to develop a national strategic plan to eliminate dog-mediated human rabies by 2030

Although rabies is endemic in eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, regular mass dog vaccination (vaccinating around 70,000 dogs every year) together with mass awareness education and provision of post exposure prophylaxis to dog bite victims have ensured zero human deaths due to rabies since the year 2012.

Swaziland is pursuing elimination of dog-mediated human rabies even before the global target of 2030. To guide the control programme, the Veterinary and Livestock Services Directorate had drafted a national rabies control strategic plan. Since the draft plan required further consultation with the relevant stakeholders, in the spirit of One Health, the Directorate requested the OIE for financial support to organise the meeting and technical input to refine the document.

The OIE indeed provided support to organise this stakeholder consultative meeting as part of the 2019 World Rabies Day commemoration.

The meeting was organized on 25 September 2019 at Esibayeni Lodge, Mapatsa. A total of 53 officials from various stakeholder organisations attended the meeting. The meeting participants included both policy and technical level official from various relevant agencies of Eswatini. Both the Directors of Health (Ministry of Health) and of Veterinary and Livestock Services (Ministry of Agriculture) and their staff attended and made presentations during the meeting.

The OIE was represented by Dr Tenzin Tenzin from the Gaborone office who delivered opening remarks on the importance of rabies elimination.

The meeting was officially opened by Mr. Eric Maziya, Under Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, who represented the Minister of Agriculture. He reiterated the Ministry of Agriculture’s full support and commitment towards prevention and control of rabies in eSwatini. He also thanked the OIE for facilitating this meeting and also for providing generous financial support.

The Under-Secretary of the MoA delivering his opening remarks. Picture © T. Tenzin (oie) 2019

 

 

The opening session was followed by a few presentations to set the scene of the meeting. Dr Bavukile Kunene, rabies focal person from the Veterinary Services in eSwatini provided an overview of rabies situation and control program in eSwatini.

Dr. Tenzin presented the global initiatives and strategic plan for rabies elimination (Zero by 30), the Director of Health, Dr Vusi Magagula presented the One Health approach towards prevention and control of zoonoses and Dr Xolani Roland Dlamini, Director of Veterinary and Livestock Services presented the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in rabies prevention and control programmes in eSwatini. Following this, the rabies focal person made a presentation on the draft rabies elimination strategy plan. This was followed by group work session and each group leader made a plenary presentations. The feedback from the group work and the meeting discussion were incorporated into the strategic plan.

The strategic plan will be launched sometime in October 2019.

Group picture © T. Tenzin (oie) 2019. Click on the picture to enlarge.

More information :

Manzini, Swaziland (eSwatini)

World Rabies Day celebrations in Swaziland (2008)

September 28, 2008
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