From August to December 2007, animal health company Intervet Inc. will donate one dose of rabies vaccine for dogs to the Afya Serengeti project for every dose of Continuum canine or feline vaccine purchased by veterinarians in the United States, for up to 100,000 doses.
In addition, Intervet will donate up to 100,000 doses of rabies vaccine on the basis of Nobivac canine vaccines purchased in Europe. Intervet has run this campaign in Europe since 2004, but this year marks the first time the campaign also runs in the United States.
Afya Serengeti aims to bring widespread canine vaccination to Africa's Serengeti nature reserve to eradicate the rabies threat for humans and animals. Launched in 1997, the project has been based in a small targeted area for the past two years and, in this time, has reduced by 92 percent the number of people needing hospital care for bites from rabid dogs. Dr. Sarah Cleaveland from the Centre of Tropical Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh manages the program.
"Rabies is an easily preventable disease," said Serge Allard, corporate communications manager for Intervet. "But children and adults are dying from it. The vaccines and tools are available, and as a global leader in animal vaccines, we wish to take our commitment to animal health further and beyond our local reach."