Development of an integrated action plan to fight against rabies, according to « One Health » approach in DRC


Kinshasa, March 30th, 2021 (CPA) – Dr. Symphonie Dimfumu, representative of the Minister in charge of Public Health, proceeded, on Monday, at Pullman hotel, in Gombe municipality, to the opening of the national workshop on development of an integrated action plan to fight against rabies according to “One Health” approach, in DRC.

According to him, rabies is present today in more than 150 countries of the world, including DRC, stressing that it is a zoonosis that kills around 60,000 people per year around the world, including nearly 24,000 in Africa (WHO) , and 40% of children.

He said that in 2020, DRC recorded 295 cases of contamination and 14 deaths, according to a report from the Ministry in charge of Public Health, specifying that the disease remains endemic until then and the majority of cases are due to the bite of rabid dogs.

Rabies, he said, must be monitored throughout the national territory, by alerting suspected cases, epidemiological surveillance, research and biomedical analysis, immediate care adapted to victims of bites before the onset of symptoms of the disease, as well as capacity building for access to vaccines for those exposed.

FAO representative calls for rabies elimination by 2030

For his part, Mr. Aristide Obame Ongone, FAO representative in DRC, in turn, indicated that this workshop aims to produce a country plan that will allow DRC to significantly reduce mortality rates and contamination due to rabies by 2030 year.

He recalled in his speech that in 2018, FAO, OIE, WHO and the Global Alliance against rabies (GARC), launched the consortium « United against rabies (UAR) », in the common objective of eliminating human mortality due to rabies by 2030. This in view of many difficulties in particular, the negative impact of the underreporting of cases of bites and the lack of intersectoral coordination on the fight against rabies, he added.

It is within this framework that FAO, GARC, OIE, CDC and other partners are joining forces to develop a set of tools, guidelines and initiatives to help countries achieve ‘Zero by 30’ global goal. This concerns in particular the reasoned approach for the elimination of rabies, a tool for planning, updating and monitoring-evaluation of rabies control programs; the canine rabies elimination program budgeting tool.

This helps countries estimate the cost of implementing a long-term, sustainable dog vaccination program, from OIE rabies vaccine bank, which offers eligible countries the opportunity to  »acquire vaccines at a lower cost, to carry out their mass vaccination campaigns for dogs and finally the guidelines relating in particular to the responsible ownership of dogs and the methods of managing the canine population.

Mrs. Nadege Ngombe Kabamba, coordinator of the national platform « Une santé » pointed out, during her speech, that DRC is constantly shaken by rabies because of the existence of unvaccinated, stray, ownerless domestic dogs. . ACP /