A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on rabies prevention was inked between the Ministry of Health, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

The involved parties agreed upon a framework of collaboration within the 2013-2016 period.

WSPA has committed to helping Vietnam and ASEAN countries improve the humanity and efficiency of preventive programmes in efforts to eradicate rabies in the bloc by 2020.

Under the reached MoU, the Vietnamese side will provide WSPA with data on the disease, helping the society get an insight into the situation in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, WSPA will equip Vietnam with knowledge of effective preventive solutions such as popular vaccination programmes along with helping it seek technical and financial assistance from international donors.

Rabies is a burden on human health. The World Health Organisation estimates there are 55,000 deaths from rabies and more than 15 million vaccinations given after being bitten by suspected rabid dogs every year.

Vietnam has a high annual rabies-caused death toll of up to 100 cases, mainly ethnic minorities and poor people in remote areas.-VNA