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Rabies From Dog Bites: How Alliance Plans To Help Nigeria, Others



Rabies From Dog Bites

Rabies from dog bites remains a major health concern, not only in Nigeria but in other African countries but there is now an agency has stepped forward to assist.

Gavi, reputed globally as the Vaccine Alliance, in collaboration with partners, is announcing support for human rabies vaccines for post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) as part of routine immunisation.

The collaboration announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) says eligible countries are would receive guidance on how to access these vaccines under Gavi’s cofinancing policy. The Eagle reports the agency as stating that the first round of applications would be accepted by mid- July 2024.

According to it, ninety-five percent of human deaths occasioned by rabies from dog bites occur in Africa and Asia, most often in marginalised communities that lack access to care.


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This is expected to complements ongoing global efforts of the Zero by 30 campaign, led by United Against Rabies partners including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),  the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, formerly OIE) with the goal of eliminating dog-mediated human rabies by 2030.

Rabies From Dog Bites

Virus Image: Electron microscopic image of rabies virus. Courtesy: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Dr. Fred Murphy

“This commitment from Gavi is crucial and will expedite efforts to halt human fatalities caused by dog-mediated rabies,” said Dr Jérôme Salomon, Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage, Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases at WHO. “WHO will provide technical assistance to countries, not only to support their funding applications to Gavi but to draw up comprehensive plans of action that can deliver real progress towards the Zero by 30 goal.”

It adds that in more than 150 countries where dog rabies remains a serious public health problem, stocks of human rabies vaccines in public health systems are often extremely limited, especially in marginalised communities, and that where human rabies vaccine is available through private facilities, the cost of PEP can impose a catastrophic financial burden on families and communities.

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“Gavi’s aim with this program is to contribute to global rabies efforts and save lives by helping countries ensure that human rabies vaccines are available to anyone who needs them and that vulnerable and marginalised communities have equal access to these essential medicines,” said Aurélia Nguyen, the Chief Programme Officer at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

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