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Veterinary Forum November 2009 (Vol 26, No 11)

Schering-Plough announces rabies-control projects in India

    KENILWORTH, NJ—Schering-Plough Corporation has announced it has initiated sponsorship of two projects in India to reduce the incidence of human and animal rabies through improved educational awareness and mass vaccination of dogs. The company will donate $200,000 and rabies vaccine from Intervet/Schering-Plough as well as share expertise with partners to support successful implementation of the projects in ten villages surrounding Bangalore and Pune, India.

    "Our company has a commitment to reducing the prevalence of rabies in vulnerable places around the world, and these new initiatives in India demonstrate continuing support of eradication efforts," said Fred Hassan, Schering-Plough chairman and CEO. "As with the Afya Serengeti project that Schering-Plough supports in Africa, educating people about rabies and how to prevent it is the most effective weapon against the disease."

    Using the "Adopt a Village" concept, education about rabies prevention and treatment will be aimed at the entire community and adapted for everyone from small children to adults and village leaders. With guidance from the nonprofit Global Alliance for Rabies Control, the programs will involve medical and veterinary professors, experts in the field of rabies along with medical students from area universities. Special accommodations will be made to educate people in their own dialects, with sensitivity to their customs.

    Separate but similar projects will be implemented in two areas of India. The Global Alliance for Rabies Control will supervise projects in four selected villages outside the city of Bangalore: Ramohally, Hulluvenahally, Chandrappa circle and Prasanachari palya. The Alliance will partner with a number of India-based groups to ensure maximum impact.

    The Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai, will take the lead role for projects in six major villages in Pune district, namely Narayangaon, Khodad, Arvi Pimpalgaon, Yedgaon, Alephata and Vadgaon Anand. The college will be supported by KNP College of Veterinary Science, Shirval and Karuna Animal Health Foundation, Narayangaon. Intervet India, the Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health business located in the Pune region, will be contributing technical support for the project as an extension of its current rabies prevention efforts.

    Rural Indian villages are especially vulnerable to rabies, according to the World Health Organization. India reports the highest incidence of human rabies accounting for an estimated 20,000 of the 55,000 deaths reported worldwide each year. Three-quarters of the deaths in India occur in rural areas with the highest rates among the poor, particularly children under the age of 15.

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