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Bali Turning the Corner in Rabies War

Human Fatalities on the Decline as Dog Vaccination Program Recommences in Bali

(6/26/2012) As a result of successful mass vaccination of dogs across Bali, human deaths from rabies have reduced by over 90% since 2010, decreasing from 11 deaths in the month of August 2010 to less than one per month in 2012.

The Bali Provincial Livestock Services received an additional 67,000 doses of rabies vaccine in the last week of June 2012. The vaccine, provided through the Government of Indonesia- United Nation Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Rabies Control Program funded by AusAID, USAID and FAO will be used to continue a third round of mass dog vaccinations that commenced at the end of March 2012. The vaccine has been delivered to each district in Bali to continue vaccination activities.

A further 53,000 doses of vaccine will arrive in the near future in order to complete the third round vaccination campaign.

A supply shortage of vaccine in the middle of the implementation of third round vaccination had caused a temporary break in dog vaccination activities. During the gap in vaccination, other activities continued to improve community awareness of the dangers of rabies, addressing emergency vaccination needs for positively proven cases, and completing vaccination in villages yet to reached 70% of all dogs in a specific locale As a result, the temporary pause in vaccination had no detrimental effect on the spread of rabies because the Bali dog population still has sufficient immunity due to the result of the previous two rounds of mass vaccination.

The Bali Province Vaccination Teams have pledged to keep the levels of dog immunity high by finding and vaccinating as many unvaccinated dogs as possible. The regency-based rapid response teams will also continue to respond to bite cases by investigation, response and emergency vaccination and continue to work closely with their counterparts in the Bali Health Service.

To date, 158,000 dogs had been vaccinated during the third round. Of these, 70% are roaming street and village dogs, known to be the most at risk from catching and transmitting rabies. The remaining 100,000 dogs will be vaccinated over the coming months to complete the third round of mass vaccination.

The number of rabies cases in dogs has dropped dramatically by 90% since the mass vaccination campaigns began in September 2010. The reduction in rabid dogs has led to a similar 90% reduction in human deaths from rabies, decreasing from 11 in August 2010 to less than one per month during 2012.

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