Cambodia Unveils Action Plan to Stamp Out Rabies

The fight against rabies in Cambodia has stepped up a gear with the launch of a five-year action plan to cut deaths from the deadly disease by half across the country.

In Cambodia, about 800 people die a year from rabies – of which half are under the age of 15, according to statistics from Institut Pasteur du Cambodge.

If administered no vaccination, there is a 100 percent death rate. However, the disease is preventable by vaccination after a bite.

Institut Pasteur du Cambodge and SIPAR, with the support from different partners have this month launched a 5-year action plan to fight rabies throughout the Kingdom.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the aim to reduce rabies mortality in Cambodia by 50 percent in five years, saving about 2,000 lives.

The first step is to educate about the rabies disease, and communicate its dangers and prevention strategies. Next will see an increase in access to vaccinations after bite injuries

by creating two rabies vaccination centres located in Battambang and Kampong Cham province. They will be of the same standard as the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh.

Currently only about 40,000 people are vaccinated yearly, which is low considering more than 600,000 Cambodian are estimated to be bitten by dogs every year.

As an ASEAN member state, Cambodia has committed to eliminate rabies by 2025.

A book Getting to Know about Rabies has also been published and will mark the beginning,

of raising awareness of rabies across Cambodia. It is a short, illustrated 44-page book, written by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge and designed and edited by SIPAR. It targets the Cambodians aged 12 and above.

It will be widely distributed for free through the network of SIPAR across Cambodia to schools libraries, mobile libraries, youth clubs, prisons, playground libraries, hospitals, garment factories, pharmacies and teacher training centres.

To mark World Rabies Day on Sep. 28, Animal Mama is also running a promotion until Sep. 29. Animals can receive a free rabies vaccination, or rabies vaccination and micro-chipping for $10. For more information, 088 874 4411.