28 April 2021
ANTI-RABIES CAMPAIGN IN ALBANIA – MONITORING ASSIGNED TO AGT INTERNATIONAL
There is a Europe that is built with the daily search for balance between rules and common obligations. And we speak not only of dramatic actuality of Covid-19 when it comes to vaccines. Routine vaccination campaigns regarding the need to eradicate in all EU countries, and in those that are candidates to join the EU, any kind of disease that could endanger the health and collective hygiene. As in the case of Rabies. Viral disease that produces 25 thousand deaths worldwide every year.
Italy is now classified as a rabies-free country, the last human case was recorded in 2011. Just over the past ten years, the European Union has promoted and financed an articulated anti-rabies campaign in all the Balkan countries. One of these activities is underway in Albania, with the support of AGT International. The one in progress now is the third “tender” with a four-year duration, and AGT’s experts intervene to monitor the effects of the vaccination operations induced in foxes.
Foxes are one of the main vehicles for the spread of the rabies virus. For this reason, the effort is aimed at intercepting most of these canids living free in the woods and rural areas of the Balkan countries. Vaccines from the anti-rabies operation in Albania were produced in Germany and the Czech Republic; but the monitoring interventions, since ten years now, is being been conducted by AGT.
AGT’s operations in Albania are aimed at defining an agreement with veterinarians and local hunters to ensure a sufficient number of foxes to be subjected to laboratory tests, to verify the absence of the virus. And not just. Also, to establish the appropriate partnerships with the local Zoo-prophylactic Institute to set up the controls.
TWICE a year, in April and October, rabies vaccine baits are scattered using air crafts dedicated to spreading massively the serum mixed with palatable food for foxes, to the ground. The monitoring activities start following the launch of the vaccine baits from the sky. About 350 foxes are retrieved for each campaign (700 foxes a year), to verify the effectiveness of the operation. The latest survey made it possible to verify the absence of viruses in 87% of the specimens detected.
Mind you, fox hunting is prohibited; but the special action is authorized by a strict memorandum that only allows operators engaged (hunters and veterinarians effectively conduct the tasks of government officials) to capture the foxes. The effect of this periodic campaign in Albania since the past three years has made it possible to eliminate cases of rabies in humans.