Bali’s Anti-Rabies Campaign Shows Positive Results
The campaign is part of an effort to eradicate rabies in Bali by 2012.
Posted: April 13, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT
Bali’s island-wide dog vaccination campaign has resulted in nearly a 50 percent decrease in human and dog rabies cases, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) reported in early April.
International scientists and disease groups recommend mass vaccination of animals as the most effective means of controlling and eradicating rabies.
The Bali government signed an agreement in September 2010 authorizing a mass vaccination campaign to immunize nearly 400,000 dogs.
So far, about 210,000 dogs—70 percent of the estimated dog population in Bali—have been vaccinated.
In looking at the period between Dec. 1, 2010 and March 30, 2011, and comparing it to the year-ago period, there was a 45 percent decrease in the number of cases of rabies in dogs and a 48 percent decrease in the number of human rabies cases.
This completes the first phase of the island’s anti-rabies campaign.
“The first phase of the mass vaccination program showed a good result,” said Ir. Putu Sumantra, head of the Bali Animal Husbandry Agency, speaking on behalf of the Bali government. “We are going to continue the mass vaccination program—being more effective and targeted in 2011, to ensure Bali will be free of rabies in 2012.”
International scientists and disease control groups, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommend mass vaccination of animals as the most effective means of controlling and eradicating rabies. This approach, which is core to Bali’s program and also in line with animal welfare principles, creates a barrier to the disease and prevents it from spreading to other animals and humans, according to the WSPA.
The government’s provincial and regency livestock departments have been leading Bali’s mass vaccination program with operational support from the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA), Yudisthira Animal Welfare and Indonesian Animal Welfare.
The first round of mass vaccinations was funded by WSPA, the Australian government and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
The program is also supported by international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
Authorities and local groups are also running programs to educate the Balinese people about rabies.
“If the mass vaccination and other supporting program are continued in 2011, we will see a continued decline in human deaths,” said Janice Girardi, director of BAWA. “But people must still remain vigilant, reporting each bite and seeking medical treatment after first washing the wound with soap and water.”
Give us your opinion on Bali’s Anti-Rabies Campaign Shows Positive Results
Login to get points for commenting or write your comment below
Get New Captcha