A pet dog gets vaccination against rabies (Photo: VNA)

Bac Giang (VNA) – Health care officials from 63 localities nationwide gathered at a conference in Bac Giang city of the northern province of Bac Giang on September 26 to discuss measures to control and erase rabies in Vietnam.

Director of the Son La province’s Preventive Medicine Centre Nguyen Tien Dung pointed to crucial need for stronger engagement of localities in fighting rabies, especially in controlling pet dogs.

Head of the Department of Breeding and Animal Health of Bac Giang City Hoang Dang Huyen held that it is necessary to increase safety measures to prevent dogs attacks on humans as well as vaccination for dogs against rabies. He also stressed the importance of communications in the community on the need to apply measures to prevent rabies.

Vietnam aims to thoroughly control rabies in 2021 when the ratio of localities with high risk of rabies in humans reduces by 60 percent and the fatality of the disease is down 60 percent compared to the 2011-2015 period, thus heading towards eliminating the disease in the future.

Participants pointed to difficulties in rabies prevention, including poor awareness of the community and a lack of effective plans to fight rabies.

They proposed that in 2021, it is important to improve the awareness of the community, local governments and relevant agencies in the field.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should also build plans for active control of the disease, they said, adding that Vietnam should asks for international organisations’ support in vaccine against rabies.

According to the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, rabies has occurred in 150 countries in the globe, killing about 60,000 people and forcing 15 million people to take preventive medicine each year.

Rabies causes average economic loss of estimated 8.6 billion USD each year globally, it added.

In Vietnam, last year, only 2.9 million out of 7.7 million pet dogs, or 38.5 percent, received vaccines against rabies.-VNA