Mission Rabies, the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production (GDAHP), and Animal Rescue Cambodia have announced a mass canine rabies vaccination campaign that aims to vaccinate 100,000 dogs in Phnom Penh from May 22 to June 2.
The campaign will start with the major goal of preventing the loss of human lives due to dog-mediated rabies in Phnom Penh, home to 2.3 million people. The campaign will also create a framework for additional rabies prevention measures in other provinces.
Soy Sophorn, Education and Survey Officer at Mission Rabies, said that the objective of the campaign is to reduce the transmission of rabies across Phnom Penh. Canine rabies vaccinations are the most effective method to maintain the safety of people and animals from the deadly disease.
Sophorn added that the campaign will cover all 13 districts of Phnom Penh, including Meanchey, Chbar Ampov, Chamkarmon, Dangkao, Porsenchey, Prek Pnov, Sen Sok, Chroy Changva, Daun Penh, Prampi Makara, Russei Keo, Kamboul, and Toul Kouk. The teams will visit households to vaccinate all dogs and urged people to spread the word about the campaign.
Amy Nicole Lewis, International Project Manager at Mission Rabies, said that the mass vaccination of dogs is vital in protecting communities from rabies.
“Despite being vaccine-preventable, rabies still causes immense suffering for both people and animals. Since our pilot project in 2019, we have been delivering vital rabies surveillance and education projects, and we are delighted to expand the work to a province-wide canine vaccination campaign.
“By vaccinating 70 percent of Phnom Penh’s dog population against rabies, we can achieve herd immunity and stop the spread of the disease at its source. We need as many people as possible to present their dogs for vaccination to support this life-saving mission, ” Lewis said.
According to a study conducted by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Cambodia is estimated to have one of the highest human rabies deaths per capita across the globe.
Mission Rabies added that in Phnom Penh, the majority of dogs are owned, so raising awareness of rabies is vital for a successful vaccination campaign.
Moreover, since 2019, the GDAHP, Mission Rabies, Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Animal Rescue Cambodia and Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society (PPAWS) have been working together in Phnom Penh to identify animals with rabies through human patients who seek post-exposure treatment.
For further information, visit the campaign website - https://cambodia.missionrabies.com/ for, follow “Mission Rabies Cambodia” on Facebook, or subscribe to their Telegram channel - https://t.me/missionrabiescambodia