3.2.9. How do I make rabies a notifiable disease in my country?

Procedures for adoption of (public and animal health) legislation vary considerably from country to country. International standards should be considered by the political and administrative organization of a country during the process of elaborating its legislation on notifiable diseases. Refer to Section 3.1 of the Rabies Surveillance Blueprint for more information on implementing the legal framework necessary for adequate rabies surveillance.

- Rabies in humans – Human rabies must be notifiable under federal health regulations applied by the Ministry of Health, as explained in Chapter 11 of the WHO Expert Consultation on Rabies.

- Rabies in domestic animals - In the establishment of legislation for compulsory notification of rabies, both the Ministries of Health and Agriculture are usually involved, in some cases with specialized advice from interministerial/inter-departmental zoonosis committees. The political commitment to create or adjust legislation on rabies could be strengthened by pressure from the general public, media attention, human and animal health sectors, but also by local governments (particularly those affected by dog rabies), by the Ministry of Environment (in particular, wildlife conservation agencies) and by authorities of the public order (e.g. police). Many regional organisations (e.g. OIE, WHO, PAHO, UEMOA) have programmes to assist countries in updating and regionally harmonizing their legislation, including legislation on rabies notification.

WHO = World Health Organization
OIE = World Organisation for Animal Health
PAHO = Pan American Health Organization
UEMOA = West African Economic and Monetary Union

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