Boehringer Ingelheim India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pet Practitioners Association of Mumbai, a non-profit charitable organisation, to combat rabies in the Greater Mumbai area.

The free vaccination camps will be run with support from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), a note from Boehringer said.

Awareness drive

The initiative aligns with India’s plan to eliminate dog-mediated rabies by 2030, it added. The initiative is two-pronged, aiming to vaccinate and educate. BI (India) has committed to donate 30,000 doses of its anti-rabies vaccine, Rabisin (inactivated and adjuvanted rabies glycoproteins) for the vaccination drive, and conduct a month-long awareness drive in partnership with PPAM in schools and communities to educate the public about rabies prevention and the human-animal bond, the note said.

Rabies can be prevented by vaccination, but continues to be a problem for public health, said Dr  Vinod Gopal, BI (India) Director and Country Head of Animal Health. “Adopting the ‘One Health’ approach will be key to securing a healthier future for all. Our ‘Stop Rabies’ initiative with PPAM and BMC is a step in that direction, showcasing our commitment to the well-being of humans and uncared dogs and cats,” he added.

“Eliminating rabies in Mumbai is crucial for public health. The ‘Stop Rabies’ initiative stands as a testament to the power of public-private partnerships, and empowering Mumbai to move closer to becoming rabies-free,” added Dr Dhananjay Bapat, President, PPAM.

It it estimated, about 30-60 percent of reported rabies cases and deaths occur in India, in children under 15 years. Vaccinating dogs is the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people, the note said.