WHO Expert Consultation on Rabies, 2nd report


The World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Consultation on Rabies met in Geneva, Switzerland, on 18–20 September 2012. Dr Denis Daumerie, Project Manager, welcomed the participants on behalf of Dr Lorenzo Savioli, Director, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, and the Director-General. He pointed out that rabies, like the tropical diseases covered by the Department, affected mainly people whose deaths are not accounted for. The disease continues to occur mainly in poor communities, where measures that could prevent it in humans by controlling dog rabies are not implemented, even though a resolution adopted by the Third World Health Assembly in 1950 already mentioned the need for prevention of rabies in humans and its control in dogs. Advances have been made in the field of rabies, particularly in the production and use of human and animal biologicals, but the disease is still neglected, and no new WHO resolutions on rabies have been proposed to address human rabies transmitted by dogs. Dr Daumerie described the successful collaboration between the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases and major drug manufacturers for the control and elimination of tropical diseases such as leprosy, lymphatic filariasis and human African trypanosomiasis, and advised the consultation to explore the benefits of such partnerships for rabies prevention and control.