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Keywords:

  • Rabies;
  • zoonosis;
  • rabies control;
  • public health programmes

Summary

MEEREB is an informal network of rabies experts from the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, seeking to eliminate rabies from the region. They met for the second time to review the current rabies situation, both globally and in their respective countries, highlighting current rabies control problems and potential solutions. Success stories in Latin America, in Western Europe, in some Asian countries, as well as in Croatia and Serbia prove that elimination of human rabies is achievable in the MEEREB region. It requires political willingness and cooperation of all stakeholders, including Ministries of Health and of Agriculture; adequate management of animal bites through post-exposure prophylaxis; pre-exposure prophylaxis for populations at high risk of rabies exposure, animal vaccination and humane control of stray dog populations. MEEREB members called for a regional initiative for rabies elimination in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. They are confident that the elimination of human rabies of canine origin can be achieved in the region through adopting a One Health approach, and that campaigns for rabies elimination will have significant benefit for public health, including strengthening the structure for control of other zoonoses.