Sergio Recuenco-Cabrera **AWARDEE**

Shortlist Category: Individual

Region: The Americas

Country: Peru

CITBM-Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

Dr. Sergio Recuenco-Cabrera has advocated for better control of vampire bat-associated rabies in the Amazon for more than 12 years at CDC, Rabies in the Americas and subsidiary meetings, Pan American Health Organization, and within the Peruvian Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Much of his advocacy has been extracurricular, outside of his official capacity, and often at personal expense.

He pressed authorities for official reporting of epidemiological data and for research capacitation. He has often been pulled in as a consultant late in outbreaks when the situation is dire.

He advocates primarily for the indigenous peoples of the Peruvian high Amazon, most of who don’t even speak Spanish.

The political decision to finally switch Peru to modern cellular vaccines followed Dr. Recuenco's tabulation of the frequency of serious adverse effects of the nerve tissue vaccine over several years. Peru now exclusively uses modern cellular rabies vaccines.

Peru is using pre-exposure prophylaxis against rabies in remote populations of the Peruvian Amazon, where post-exposure prophylaxis is untenable, occasionally in response to major outbreaks (ring vaccination). Both these successes were accomplished with official support by Dr. Ana Maria Navarro-Vela of the Peruvian MOH.