Boehringer Ingelheim and Eco-Business launches Stop Rabies whitepaper in South East Asia

1:52:03 PM | 11/7/2023

Boehringer Ingelheim unveiled a whitepaper titled “Moving towards a rabies-free Southeast Asia” at the Federation of Asian Veterinary Association (FAVA) Congress 2023 in Kuching, Malaysia. The whitepaper was developed in collaboration with Eco-Business*

The whitepaper highlights country-specific challenges and expert solutions to operationalize the One Health approach in preventing and eliminating rabies in Southeast Asia with a specific focus on Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. The whitepaper explores strategies to achieve the Zero by 30 global strategic goal to end dog-mediated human rabies death by 2030.

Despite efforts, Southeast Asia remains a rabies hotspot, with millions of people at potential risk of rabies exposure. These factors have made the region a major vector for the disease, escalating in areas where rabies has not previously been reported, including Malaysia. Some of the factors contributing to the uptake of rabies infections include: A large population of free-roaming, unvaccinated dogs; Low vaccination rates among pets and strays; Limited resources and access to animal vaccines; Cross-border rabies transmission.

The whitepaper, along with the gathering of like-minded stakeholders at the FAVA Congress, supports Boehringer Ingelheim’s ongoing STOP Rabies program efforts. The complexities of rabies control explored in a panel session during the congress, also affirms the need for collaboration across sectors and borders to help the region advance forward.

According to many experts at the event, rabies is completely preventable with holistic programs that focus on dog vaccination, education, and surveillance. By understanding the rabies landscape in the region, we continue to pursue a collaborative approach, involving governments, non-governmental organizations, veterinarians, pet owners, and the wider community, to drive progress towards a rabies-free Southeast Asia and improve health outcomes for both humans and animals.

Building on over 30 years of experience working in rabies prevention and management, Boehringer Ingelheim’s STOP Rabies program reinforces the company’s mission to improve the health of both animals and humans. By contributing its expertise and heritage to the rabies elimination efforts that are already taking place in Southeast Asia and around the world – Boehringer continues to advocate for sustained, collaborative efforts to make meaningful advances towards eliminating rabies.

In Vietnam, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has joined hands with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Duc Hue District People's Committee, Long An Province to implement the program “Rabies vaccination for the community” during 3 consecutive years. Since 2021, a total of 19,400 cats and dogs were vaccinated. This year alone, the program provided free rabies vaccination for close to 7,000 dogs and cats in Duc Hue district.

Dr. Torsten Hardge, Director of Animal Health, Boehringer Ingelheim Vietnam, said: “ Our vaccination campaigns in Duc Hue district confirm that if animals are healthy, people are healthier, too. As a leading animal health company, we are committed to contribute with know how, vaccine and research to protect animals and people against rabies. Providing education about rabies and rabies prevention is of major importance in our vaccination campaigns."

Vietnam’s Government is aiming to eliminate human deaths from dog-transmitted rabies by 2030 through the 2022-2030 national program for rabies control and elimination.

B.H (Vietnam Business Forum)