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Bali fights against rabies with Mass Dog Vaccination

18/04/2016

Bali Province reinforces the war against rabies with the 7th round of mass dog vaccination which starts today in Desa Munggu, Badung District. This effort is a major part of the strategy to achieve total eradication of rabies in Bali.

Provincial and Central government efforts to control rabies in Bali since 2010 achieved a 99 percent reduction in human cases and a 90 percent reduction in animal cases between 2011 and 2013. However, an increased incidence of human and animal rabies cases occurred in 2014 and 2015. This resulted in three reported human fatalities due to rabies in 2014 and a further 15 human deaths from rabies in 2015, while confirmed animal rabies cases increased to 529 in 2015.

"This year we will ensure that the implementation of rabies vaccination will run better than the previous years. Central Government has mobilized various resources to ensure successful rabies vaccination in 2016 including a request for support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - FAO and OIE" said the Director of Animal Health of Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture drh. I Ketut Diarmita, M.P. Furthermore, the Director of Animal Health said that in order to support this eradication programme, Posko Rabies (the rabies command and control post) has been revitalized as the rabies control and information centre, and re-located at the DGLAHS Disease Investigation Centre (DIC), Denpasar.

The Bali Government, with technical and financial support from the National government, will vaccinate over 400.000 dogs over the coming months and has purchased sufficient rabies vaccine for the campaign. These dogs will be marked with a special collar so that they can be identified as being vaccinated and protected against rabies. Special teams known as A-Teams of dog catchers and vaccinators have been trained and set up to carry out the mass vaccination campaign in all 716 villages across Bali Island that will be conducted from April to June 2016.
"We expect that rabies vaccination this year will be able to reduce both human and animal cases of the disease. All logistics for vaccination are in place and by having the launch today we hope that the awareness of the community will be raised to support the rabies eradication programme in Bali " said Ir. I Putu Sumantra, App. M.Sc, Head of Bali Provincial Livestock and Animal Health Service.

The Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO] have been working together to eradicate rabies in Bali since 2011. A new scheme of cooperation is underway to provide technical advice on the epidemiology of rabies in Bali, train additional rabies control A-Teams to support and implement the vaccination campaign including extra "sweeping" vaccination, and develop an acceptable Dog Population Management [DPM] pilot project and strategy for Bali and Indonesia as a whole.

"There is an urgent need to bring the rabies control and eradication campaign back on track through a more rigorous, intensive and coordinated vaccination program" said Mark Smulders FAO Representative in Indonesia.

The 7th round of mass dog vaccination in Bali will bring Bali closer to the goal of rabies eradication from the island. The regency-based Dinas Peternakan rapid response teams will continue to respond to bite cases, using the Integrated Bite Case Management protocol for investigation, response and emergency vaccination, working closely with human health service counterparts using a One Health approach. Animal movement control, especially for dogs, has also gained more attention this year; the role of the Agriculture Quarantine Agency as the institution responsible for animal movement control, in cooperation with other relevant government offices, will have an important role to ensure the success of the rabies eradication programme in Bali.

The Bali community is requested to assist the vaccination teams by bringing their dogs for vaccination and familiarising themselves with the dog vaccination schedule for their area. In particular, all puppies over two weeks of age should be brought to a veterinarian for rabies vaccination.

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