05/17/16 07:47

Follow-up Workshop on Relevant International Standards for Dog Rabies

Bangkok, 17-19 May 2016

A follow up workshop on relevant international standards for dog rabies was jointly organised by OIE RR AP and OIE SRR SEA in Bangkok, Thailand on 17-19 May 2016. Prior to this 2016 workshop, two separate workshops were separately organised by the two OIE offices in the Region (June 2014 in Chiang Mai, Thailand by OIE SRR SEA and August 2014 in Tokyo, Japan by OIE RR AP). The 2016 joint follow up workshop focused on updating animal rabies situation in the region and update progress in compliance with the following areas of international standards relevant to dog rabies elimination: (1) role of National Veterinary Services in rabies elimination (Code Ch3.1, 3.3, 3.4), (2) rabies vaccines and vaccination (Manual Ch2.1.13), (3) rabies diagnosis (Manual Ch2.1.13), (4) rabies surveillance (Code Ch1.1), (5) animal welfare – stray dog population management (Code Ch7.7), (6) towards achieving and maintaining rabies freedom (Code Ch8.13), and (7) Global Framework on eliminating dog-mediated rabies. A total of 40 participants attended this workshop, including 18 member countries/territory, partners (FAO, GARC, SAARC and World Animal Protection), donors (DFAT and JTF), OIE Ref Lab for Rabies and OIE staff.

The meeting objectives were to: 1) provide updates on the animal rabies situation in the Asia-Pacific region; 2) review the progress made by countries on their compliance to international standards relevant to dog rabies elimination; 3) share experiences, challenges and achievements in implementing rabies-related initiatives; 4) prepare countries towards improved consistency with international standards relevant to dog rabies elimination, including process for self-declaration of rabies freedom; and 5) discuss the Global Framework for rabies elimination and other outcomes from the Global Rabies Conference and determine regional actions that can promote and support these.

Since two regions (Africa and Asia) are most responsible part of the world in terms of rabies, learning from each other would be an asset for future activities on rabies elimination. In this regard, the North and East African OIE staff attended this workshop as observers, to learn about the situation in Asia for possible application with modification in Africa.

The first technical session was started with reviewing the rabies situation in the Asia-Pacific region by summary presentation, followed by reviewing posters submitted by participating countries/territory. Participants were requested to identify the champions for each technical session (session 4-9) and shared key achievements.

During technical session 4-9, each relevant international standards to dog rabies elimination was discussed. Each session consisted of an introductory talk of the relevant chapter(s), a brief summary presentation of the country responses to the questionnaires distributed prior to the workshop, followed by an open panel discussion to identify common issues and highlight good examples from the region. OIE RR-AP and OIE SRR-SEA will summarise and draft output report including full details from participating countries.

Partners and donors working on rabies in the region (FAO, GARC, SAARC, World Animal Protection, OIE SRR-NA, OIE SRR-EA, DFAT and JTF) presented their ongoing activities and initiatives during partner forum.

To link those regional output to the 5 pillars of the Global Framework on dog-mediated rabies elimination, relevant summaries from the sessions were linked with each of the pillar, identifying supporting (technical) resources for the region and underscoring the current gaps and weakness that need to be addressed by the region to effectively contribute to the achievement of the Global target to eliminate dog-mediated human rabies by 2030.

This workshop was very useful to bring back some ideas from one region to another, success stories already implemented in Asia and presented by participants or discussed during each plenary sessions, especially communication and awareness supports (posters, stickers, videos) used in several Asian countries.