The Australian Government will gift up to 200,000 canine rabies vaccines, along with financial assistance, to Timor-Leste.
The Timor-Leste Government is rolling out a canine rabies vaccination campaign to protect communities and their dogs from rabies.
Dr Beth Cookson, Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, said the Australian Government was committed to improving rabies control in our neighbouring countries by supporting surveillance, vaccination and community education activities.
“To mitigate the risk to human and animal health, Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Forestry is undertaking a canine rabies vaccination campaign.
“Mass vaccination of dogs is the most cost-effective and practical way of reducing the impact of human rabies.
“Collaborating with Timor-Leste not only supports our neighbour to control dog rabies and prevent deaths in communities, but also helps keep Australia free of the disease.”
At least 59,000 people are killed from rabies globally each year, with 40 per cent of these being children. While Australia and Timor-Leste are free from dog-mediated rabies, it is present in parts of Indonesia, such as Bali, and more recently West Timor.
“This work will help to achieve the ‘Zero by 30’ strategy, which is a collective goal of the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organisation for Animal Health to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030,” said Dr Cookson.