Hanoi meeting responds to World Rabies Day hinh anh 1Animal health officials gives rabies shots to dogs (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A meeting was held in Hanoi on September 25 to respond to World Rabies Day 2019, which falls on September 28.

Addressing the event, Assistant Prof. Dr. Hoang Duc Hanh, Vice Director of the Hanoi Department of Health, cited the World Health Organisation’s report that the fatal disease kills 50,000-70,000 people each year, and forces more than 10 million people to get vaccinations.

In Vietnam, the disease has persisted for decades, with high fatality at about 100 cases per year, he noted, stressing the need to vaccinate more cats and dogs, enhance communications among the community on the danger of the disease, and encourage people to get vaccines.

Over the years, Vietnam has been making efforts to control rabies and seen a decrease in the number of deaths from rabies from 2015 – 2017. However, the number of fatalities increased last year, rising to 103 from 74 in 2017, he noted.

In the first half of 2019, the country reported 46 deaths from rabies in 24 cities and provinces with Son La recoding six cases, the highest number.

Hanoi has not recorded any deaths from the disease so far this year.

According to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, rabies is the main cause of most deaths from infectious diseases in Vietnam. About half a million people get vaccinated as a preventive measure from rabies but in reality, the number of people bitten by animals is much higher.

The institute emphasised that vaccination is the only way to prevent human mortality from rabies./.