Rabies is an acute neurological syndrome. It is due to a virus from lyssaviruses group (Rhabdoviridae). Rabies is the most lethal disease known to man: it is a 100% lethal disease. In human, the disease is 100% is preventable through post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP vaccination +/- immunoglobulin) after bites. In Cambodia, rabies is mostly transmitted by dogs. There are about 5 million dogs in Cambodia, most of them not vaccinated. It is estimated that the annual number of human death due to rabies is about 800 per year in Cambodia (2007 survey)
In Cambodia it is estimated around 600 000 severe dog bites per year to human (total bites probably 1 million). Around 60% of severe bites are in children age under 17years. Unfortunately less than 5% of bitten people consult for rabies vaccination (ie 95 % have no PEP). Among them 21 000 people get vaccinated at IPC every year, using intra dermal (ID) protocol consisting of four sessions at D0, 3, 7, 21, for 10 USD in total; each session uses 0.2 ml of vaccine in two sites (0.1 ml/site). About 50 % of bitten patients coming to IPC, are from Phnom Penh and Kandal provinces, others for all Cambodian provinces.
Cambodian authorities have committed to eliminating canine-mediated rabies by 2030, though dog vaccination program against rabies, through reinforcement of post-exposure prophylaxis and though communication campaigns.