Kenya has launched the National Rabies Elimination Coordination Committee to oversee efforts to control and eliminate rabies.
Earlier this month on August 5th, the National Rabies Elimination Coordination Committee (NRECC) Launch was held. This committee is part of Stage 1 of the Rabies Elimination strategy which entails the planning of implementation of rabies elimination activities in pilot counties.
The NRECC’s purpose is simple – to bring together different sectors within government, non-government organizations, teaching and research institutions, international partners and the public to aid in rabies elimination efforts. This launch therefore signified the official start of collaborative efforts to oversee efforts to control and eliminate rabies with the vision of eliminating the deadly disease in Kenya by 2030.
The launch was well attended by Kenyan government representatives from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries as well as various other stakeholders from relevant organizations that are key to ensuring the success of rabies elimination efforts.
An important remark by the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko, was the need to kick rabies out of Kenya by ensuring that vaccines are available at the grassroots level. This is especially important for Rabies is a neglected disease that mostly affects the poor and vulnerable populations. His remarks are in line with the strategy’s main principle which is quite straightforward: vaccinate at least 70% of the dog population each year – for at least three years – to ensure the disease is eliminated, in dogs, humans and wildlife.
With NRECC launched now, we hope to systematize Rabies control and elimination efforts in the country. Though it is a long journey ahead, we are determined to ensure that Kenya is Rabies Free by 2030.
For more information on the National Rabies Elimination Strategy, visit www.zdukenya.org.