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U.S. Pet Owners Can Double The Impact Of Vaccinations To Help Reduce Rabies In Africa, Save Lives

September 02, 2017

American pet owners and their animals can help save lives in Africa through vaccinations administered in the U.S. between now and December 31, 2008. Pet owners are invited to double the impact of the annual veterinary visit and give a global dimension to rabies prevention through the Afya Serengeti project.

Afya Serengeti, "Health for Serengeti" in Swahili, is seeking to control rabies in this region of Tanzania by vaccinating domestic dogs, responsible for more than 8 out of 10 cases of the deadly disease, with children suffering the greatest impact. To support this lifesaving work, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, a global animal health company, is donating a dose of its rabies vaccine for every dose of its Continuum(R) canine or feline vaccine given to pets through the end of 2008. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has committed up to 250,000 doses to the project. The company is also a sponsor of World Rabies Day on September 28, 2008, a global initiative to address rabies prevention and control.

In Africa, around 25,000 people die from the disease each year, most of them children. Kept as both pets and working animals, domestic dogs are an essential part of everyday life in the Serengeti yet they account for 84.2% of rabies cases. Controlling the disease in household dogs means reducing deaths from rabies in children. Afya Serengeti is a highly successful rabies control project that ensures widespread vaccination of domestic dogs in regions where many people cannot afford an annual rabies shot. A vaccination zone has been set up around the Serengeti National Park with regular clinics where dog owners can bring their pets to be registered, vaccinated and marked with a plastic collar to signify their protection from rabies.

Afya Serengeti has already had a massive impact in the Serengeti region of Tanzania. In its second year of operation, the number of people needing hospital care for bites from rabid dogs dropped by 82% and the control of rabies in domestic dogs has prompted the resurgence of the once-endangered African wild dogs in the park--a major attraction for wildlife tourists.

This year, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has increased its support in the fight to eradicate rabies by providing a new Land Rover to help with rabies vaccine distribution to the Afya Serengeti team. The company will also host events featuring African food at a number of its U.S. locations to raise awareness of the company's support of World Rabies Day and its commitment to rabies eradication.

Dr. Sarah Cleaveland from the Centre of Tropical Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, UK, who founded and leads the Afya Serengeti project says, "We are immensely proud of the success of our initiative in Tanzania. This is a campaign that has let people get on with their everyday lives by helping to eradicate one of the everyday threats. It's not about famine or war or any kind of disaster, it's about making everyday life safer in the Serengeti, especially for children."

Pet lovers who want to do more for the project can also visit the project Web site, afya, to make a donation, learn more about the issue and view videos about the impact of the project on the Serengeti region.

Pet owners are invited to contact their veterinary practice to ask about support for this lifesaving initiative.

About Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is a leader in research and dedicated to the development, production and marketing of innovative, high-quality animal-health products, such as Continuum(R), Galaxy(R), Eclipse(R), Zubrin(R), Vetsulin(R), Panacur(R), Tri-Heart(R) Plus, and Leventa(R). For more information visit the following Web sites: continuum3, vetsulin, triheartplus and leventa.

Continuum, Eclipse, Galaxy, Leventa, Panacur, Tri-Heart, Vetsulin, and Zubrin are registered trademarks of Intervet Inc., Schering-Plough Animal Health, or an affiliate.

In addition to animal-health products, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health provides services through its wholly-owned subsidiary HomeAgain(R), a leader in companion animal identification and lost pet recovery.

For more information about Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health visit the following Web sites: intervetusa, spah and homeagain.

About Schering-Plough Corporation

Schering-Plough (NYSE: SGP) is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform to human prescription and consumer products as well as to animal health products. Schering-Plough's vision is to "Earn Trust, Every Day" with doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site is hschering-plough.

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