SARC Rabies Workshop

WHO, OIE, FAO and GARC organized a Rabies Workshop from 26-28 June 2019 at the Radisson Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal. The theme of the workshop was “Enhancing Progress Towards Rabies Elimination ‘Zero by 30’ in the SAARC Region”.

Delegates from all the 8 SARC countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka attended. Experts on rabies from OIE,WHO,FAO and GARC participated in the workshop.

The workshop recommends that the SAARC Member States:

1. Finalise and endorse National Action Plan for rabies elimination with the involvement of national stakeholders based on SARE/PWARE assessment results in alignment with existing policy and strategy no later than December 31, 2020.

2. Make Rabies a notifiable disease in both human and animal sectors in all member states including harmonization of rabies case definition in line with OIE/WHO guidelines no later than December 31, 2020.

3. Pursue high level advocacy at national level to garner political commitment to achieve rabies elimination by 2030.

4. Scale up mass dog vaccination using high quality vaccines in a strategic and phased manner to achieve at least 70% dog vaccination coverage.

5. Establish and/or utilise One Health coordination mechanism at national and sub-national levels to ensure effective and sustainable coordination for implementation of rabies elimination programme.

6.Use available regional/ sub-regional platforms to garner support from SAARC Development Fund (SDF) and SAARC Agriculture Center (SAC) towards rabies elimination.

7. Make best use of FAO/OIE/WHO Reference Laboratories for building/strengthening national laboratory diagnostic capacity including participation in proficiency testing and external quality assurance (EQA) assessments/evaluations.

8. Access and utilise global strategies, tools, guidelines and technical support made available by organizations such as WHO, OIE, FAO, GARC, World Animal Protection and other partners (e.g. the SARE/Rabies Blueprint).