The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) has been instrumental in creating World Rabies Day in 2007 which is commemorated every 29th of September worldwide. GARC created the Partners for Rabies Prevention (PRP), a group bringing together public-private rabies control stakeholders from various sectors (research, policy makers, international organizations, NGOs, Foundations, animal welfare organizations and industry) to develop tools and strategies for enhanced rabies control and leads the “research to policy” debate. One of the first products of the group in which FAO actively participated was the rabies blueprint (www.rabiesblueprint.com), a comprehensive guide for countries to develop and implement rabies control programmes. Furthermore GARC promotes rabies education, implemented rabies pilot projects to demonstrate what works for rabies control at field level and advocates at an international level for increased resources for rabies prevention and control. GARC’s field projects supported community-based integrated approaches linking education, vaccination, diagnosis and surveillance in countries such as Chad, Indonesia, Philippines, South Africa and Tanzania.
Furthermore, in November 2012, FAO and GARC convened 21 experts in canine rabies surveillance and prevention at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, to develop “The stepwise approach towards rabies elimination (SARE)”a new tool to aid health programme planners and managers. Since then SARE has been presented at various international fora such as the Pan-African Rabies Conference (PARACON) held in June 2015 in South Africa, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) rabies conference in August in Sri Lanka and at Reunión de Directores de los Programas de Rabia de las Américas (REDIPRA) in South America.
In the context of the proposed MoU, FAO and GARC have agreed to collaborate on the following:
- encourage the development and implementation of national and regional rabies control and elimination strategies;
- promote national rabies surveillance systems, including transparency/notification, and rabies control or elimination strategies in line with international standards;
- advocate for more involvement of national and local authorities in rabies control, in particular Ministries of Agriculture and veterinary services;
- promote World Rabies Day activities through their respective networks, including communication strategies related to it.
For more information, please refer to the attached draft MoU and work-plan.