The Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and North Africa Rabies Control Network (MERACON) was formed under the secretariat of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), as a regional advisory and networking initiative. MERACON aims to unify all countries and any related rabies networks in the region with a One Health approach towards rabies control and elimination. MERACON has been created by the transformation of the MEEREB network and will build on its substantial efforts over the last few years.
MERACON facilitates the development and implementation of national rabies elimination strategies, with a focus on sustainability through governmental support. It aims to standardize rabies control and elimination strategies towards a concerted regional approach by relying on the use of specially-developed tools and resources such as the Stepwise Approach Towards Rabies Elimination (SARE) assessment, Rabies Blueprint, GARC Education Platform and the MERACON bulletin.
The current MERACON countries are Algeria, Azerbaïdjan, Croatia, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Tadjikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
The MERACON vision is that of a region free from canine-mediated human rabies by 2030 and is encompassed in a modified version of an old African proverb:
"If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together..
... But not too slowly!"
MERACON aims to:
Unify Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Central Asian and North African countries and rabies control networks and promote co-operation in a One Health approach towards rabies control and elimination.
Create a platform to showcase countries' successes towards achieving rabies control and elimination as well as any lessons learnt and challenges faced
Promote the development and implementation of tools for rabies control such as the Rabies Blueprint, SARE, GEP and the MERACON bulletin