|A dog gets a rabies vaccination during a one-week vaccination campaign held in Long An Province’s Đức Huệ District from April 15 to 21. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Diệp|
HCM CITY — A one-week campaign called "Rabies vaccination for the community" is providing free rabies vaccination for nearly 7,000 dogs and cats in the Đức Huệ border district of the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Long An until Friday (April 21).
In an effort to eliminate rabies, the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the research-driven biopharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim Vietnam and its partners officially launched the campaign for the third consecutive year last Saturday (April 15).
During the week of the campaign, many activities will be organised to educate local primary students about rabies and raise awareness in the community about mass vaccination and rabies prevention.
Đinh Thị Phương Khanh, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the vaccination campaign has been implemented by Boehringer Ingelheim Vietnam Company in the district since 2021, with a total of more than 12,400 vaccinated dogs and cats.
"The vaccination campaign has has a positive impact, reducing fatalities caused by rabies in dogs and cats and contributing to protecting the health and lives of local people," she said.
Thanks to the vaccination campaign, the percentage of vaccinated animals in the district has increased significantly in recent years (90 per cent in 2021 and 96 per cent in 2022).
“This rate far exceeds the WHO-recommended minimum vaccination rate of 70 per cent in at-risk areas to ensure effectiveness in preventing human rabies,” she said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 59,000 people die of rabies a year worldwide.
In Việt Nam, the death rate is between 70 and 100 people per year, although some progress has been made in the past ten years. Nearly 60 deaths caused by rabies were reported in the country last year.
Việt Nam targets to eliminate human deaths from rabies by 2030 under a draft national programme for rabies prevention in the 2022-30 period.
Rabies is a severe acute infectious disease caused by the rabies virus, which is transmissible from animals to humans. The disease is dangerous but can be prevented through vaccinations of animals and people who were bitten by animals.
Torsten Hardge, head of Animal Health of Boehringer Ingelheim Vietnam, said as a leader in veterinary medicine, his company is proud to protect animals against rabies, and contribute to preventing and eliminating rabies in Việt Nam.
"Our vaccination campaigns in the district have proven that, if animals are healthy, people are healthier, too,” he said.
The company continues to team up with Nông Lâm University in HCM City and Navetco to implement the campaign.
Nông Lâm University in HCM City plays an important role in providing expertise, manpower, and field support throughout the campaign.
Sixty well-trained students of the university are ready to support the rabies vaccinations and educate people about the importance of rabies prevention, to protect themselves and people around them, he added.
|A well-trained student of Nông Lâm University in HCM City supports the rabies vaccination programme in dogs in Long An Province. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Diệp|
Boehringer Ingelheim is a global leader in the fight to prevent and manage rabies, with a range of vaccines used to prevent the disease in pets, farm animals and wildlife.
This vaccination campaign is part of its efforts to combat infectious diseases in human and animal health. — VNS