WHO Expert Consultation report

WHO Expert Consultation report

26 July 2013

The technical report from the WHO Expert Consultation on Rabies which was held in Geneva in September 2012 is now available online, here.

The report recognizes that poor surveillance, underreporting in many developing countries, frequent misdiagnosis of rabies, and an absence of coordination among all the sectors involved has contributed to the underestimation of rabies’ impacts worldwide.

However, it is clear that rabies disproportionately affects poor rural communities, and that most of the expenditure for post-exposure prophylaxis is borne by those who can least afford it.

As dog and human populations grow, the burden of human deaths from rabies and the economic costs will continue to escalate in the absence of concerted efforts and investment for control.

Since the first WHO Expert Consultation on Rabies in 2004, WHO and its network of collaborating centres on rabies, specialized national institutions, members of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Rabies and partners such as the Gates Foundation, the Global Alliance for Rabies Control and the Partnership for Rabies Prevention, have been advocating the feasibility of rabies elimination regionally and globally.

This Consultation concluded that human dog-transmitted rabies is readily amenable to control, regional elimination in the medium term and even global elimination in the long term.