World Rabies Day 2022
World Rabies Day is an international awareness campaign that aims to raise awareness about the impact of rabies on humans and animals by providing information and advice on how to prevent the disease in at-risk communities, and supporting advocacy for increased efforts in rabies control.
World Rabies Day has taken place each year on September 28 since 2007, the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur who, with the collaboration of his colleagues, developed the first efficacious rabies vaccine.
More than 100 years since Louis Pasteur produced the life-saving rabies vaccine, this fatal viral disease, rabies, is still endemic in Cambodia, causing an estimated number of about 800 human deaths per year. For the time being, neither countrywide adequate rabies surveillance nor dog mass vaccination campaigns are systemically implemented. Therefore, Rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) remains a key life-saving tool to prevent human rabies in Cambodia.
Rabies deaths occur mainly for those who cannot access timely rabies PEP. Prompt PEP following severe exposures is 100% effective in preventing rabies. However, delay in seeking PEP, improper wound care, unnoticed wounds, direct nerve inoculation, and lack of patient compliance with vaccination schedules, among other factors, contribute to ineffective PEP treatment and subsequent death.
To date, the Rabies Prevention Centers of the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC) are the largest PEP centers in Cambodia. The Rabies Prevention Center of IPC in the capital of Phnom Penh was set up under the convention between the Royal Government of Cambodia and Institut Pasteur Paris in 1992. Lately, in order to expand the coverage to remote areas, two additional Rabies Prevention Centers have been set up, one in Battambang province (North-West) in 2018 and another in Kampong Cham province (North-Est) in 2019.
These three centers provide PEP against rabies including the administration of Equine Rabies Immunoglobulins (ERIG) as part of the public health activities of the institute. Since 1992, more than 500,000 rabies PEP protocols have been provided to those who self-referring to these three centers (more than 20,000 patients per year since 2010). Despite the impact of COVID-19, a total of 44,210 new rabies PEP protocols have been delivered in 2021.
On the occasion of the World Rabies Day, all staff in our Rabies Prevention Centers disseminate information about rabies to the public.