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United Against Rabies Forum Stakeholder Meeting 2023

6 – 8 November 2023


The 2023 United Against Rabies Forum Stakeholder Meeting was held as a hybrid event, with in-person participation in Rome, Italy, and virtual participation to allow inclusive participation of United Against Rabies Forum members.

The meeting provided an update on progress towards the ‘Zero by 30’ goal, and allowed United Against Rabies Forum members to review the outputs of 2023 and propose priorities for the network to focus on in 2024.

Happy African boys and a dog

Session 1: Progress towards ‘Zero by 30’: Highlights from 2023

Lord Alexander Trees, the Chair of the United Against Rabies Forum Steering Group faciliated a panel discussion focusing on highlights during 2023. Panellists included Dr Linous Munsimbwe (Department of Veterinary Services, Zambia), Dr Pebi Suseno (Ministry of Agriculture, Indonesia) and Dr Jean Marc Feussom (Deputy Director of Health Protection and Epidemiosurveillance, Cameroon). Dr Rachel Tidman (World Organisation for Animal Health) presented the 2023 priorities and key outputs of the United Against Rabies Forum.

‘United Against Rabies: Priorities and Key Outputs of 2023’ Dr Rachel Tidman

Session 2: The role of national strategic plans for dog-mediated rabies in reaching ‘Zero by 30’

Dr Gregorio Torres (World Organisation for Animal Health), Dr Richard Ngandolo (Institut de Recherche en Elevage pour le Développement, Chad), Dr Frederic Lohr (Mission Rabies) and Dr Anthony Fooks (Animal and Plant Health Agency, UK) shared presentations focusing on the role of national strategic plans for dog-mediated rabies, and the support available for countries in helping to develop and implement these.

‘From Pilot project to fully endorsed National Strategic Plan’ Dr Gregorio Torres

‘Coordination and implementation of Chad’s national strategy for rabies control’ Dr Richard Ngandolo

‘Supporting countries in the development and implementation of national strategic plans for rabies control’ Dr Frederic Lohr

‘United Against Rabies Country Partnership Programme’ Dr Anthony Fooks

Session 3: Human post-exposure prophylaxis and GAVI investment

Dr Simbarashe Mabaya (Gavi the Vaccine Alliance), Dr Bernadette Abela (World Health Organisation), Dr Ryan Wallace (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and Professor Katie Hampson (University of Glasgow) presented updates on the Gavi investment on human rabies post-exposure prophylaxis.

‘Introduction to Gavi and the Gavi Rabies PEP vaccine programme’ – Dr Simbarashe Mabaya

‘Prudent use of rabies biologicals’ Dr Bernadette Abela

‘Forecasting human rabies vaccine demand’ Dr Ryan Wallace

‘Post-exposure vaccine forecasting’ Professor Katie Hampson

Session 4: Stakeholders engagement at the national and regional level

Prof. Dr. Md. Nazmul Islam (Communicable Disease Control Directorate General of Health Services, Bangladesh), Dr Madi Savadogo (Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Burkina Faso), Dr Zheng Zeng (Chongqing Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center, China) and Dr Hiver Boussini (AU-IBAR) presented updates on national and regional engagement to implement, coordinate and scale up rabies control efforts.

‘Mass Dog Vaccination in Bangladesh: Moving from control to progressive elimination’ Prof. Dr. Md. Nazmul Islam

‘Multisectoral engagement for rabies control in Burkina Faso’ Dr Madi Savadogo

‘Rabies Prevention and Control Practice in Chongqing, China’ Dr Zheng Zeng

‘AU-IBAR Activities in Africa Towards Elimination Rabies by 2030’ Dr Hiver Boussini

Session 5: Looking forwards and 2024 priorities

This session included a panel discussion with Dr Isabelle Dieuzy-Labaye, Dr Bernadette Abela, Dr Gregorio Torres and Dr Katinka de Balogh. The discussion led on from Episode 6 ‘Zero by 30: Dead or Alive?’ of the ‘Rabies Today’ podcast, and focused on the Zero by 30 objectives, and whether these were still relevant or needed to change.

Breakout sessions were held with participants to look at the main gaps and recommended way forward for the following six topics: coordinating operational research, dog population management, surveillance, oral rabies vaccination, communication and advocacy, and transboundary and displacement issues.

Session 6: Finalisation of 2024 workplan and recommendations of United Against Rabies Forum

The final session of the meeting included a presentation on the Monitoring and Evaluation framework of the Global Strategic Plan which is being developed by the United Against Rabies Forum Steering Group, and summarised the key recommendations from the meeting.

‘Monitoring and Evaluation of Zero by 30’ Dr Rachel Tidman

‘United Against Rabies 2024 Recommendations and Priorities’ – Lord Alexander Trees

Read the United Against Rabies Forum 2023 Review below!


Contact for any further information on this event.