3.3.4. To what extent is rabies prevention and control a priority and has secure funding?

In the majority of rabies-endemic countries, rabies is often not considered a priority because information on its local and global burden and impact is lacking. This has led to limited resources being allocated to rabies control.

However, rabies control is now accepted as a global health priority. It is now globally recognised that rabies greatly affects human and animal health sectors and has a large economic impact as shown in these studies. National and international policy makers should therefore be informed about the burden of rabies and the need for well-planned and sustained rabies control efforts and allocation of adequate resources.

Advocating to government policy makers for increased efforts to be put into rabies control may be necessary, and for this as much relevant data as possible about the impacts of rabies and the costs incurred in controlling it should be gathered. Where data gathering is not sufficient, it may be possible to use estimates of the burden, such as those provided for each country in the Hampson (2015) paper here.

In persuading policy makers to allocate funds to rabies control, arguments about the cost-effectiveness of control interventions may be very powerful. Even without a goal of elimination, dog vaccination is a cost effective strategy, as demonstrated here for African and Asian settings. There are also studies demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of PEP, see here. A joint report from WHO,OIE and FAO “The Rationale for investing in the global elimination of dog-mediated human rabies” (available here) may also support advocacy efforts.

A toolkit in how to approach policy makers to advocate for better rabies control is available here.

PEP = Post-exposure prophylaxis

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next page: 3.3.5. What sources of funding might be available for dog rabies control?

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Version 4 - last updated May 2017