At the beginning of June 2022, two PAHO/WHO Country Offices (Colombia and Venezuela) and two Specialized Centers (BIREME and PANAFTOSA) that are in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, were involved in a joint and effective action to send 2,000 human rabies vaccines, to help handle an emergency in Venezuela. This action became a successful regional cooperation between the different PAHO/WHO agencies in the countries.
In an action coordinated by the Administration of PANAFTOSA in Rio de Janeiro, the Administration of BIREME, in São Paulo, was activated to receive and dispatch human anti-rabies vaccines to Rio de Janeiro, which were available both in the warehouse of the Ministry of Health of Brazil in the municipality of Guarulhos, as well as in the Instituto Pasteur in São Paulo. These vaccines would be sent to Venezuela immediately, in order to observe the technical specifications of packaging, preservation, and validity of the vaccines.
By PAHO Venezuela – part of a published note (available only in Spanish) is replicated below
“The vaccines, which arrived from Brazil on a commercial flight, were acquired by the Pan American Center for Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Veterinary Public Health (PANAFTOSA/SPV), a PAHO scientific center that works with zoonoses, diseases that are transmissible from vertebrates to humans. Laboratory supplies also arrived with the vaccines to detect suspected cases, and all the material was transferred from Maiquetía to the MPPS central epidemiology warehouse, located in Las Adjuntas.
These vaccines will allow preventive action against rabies in those workers who carry out activities that make them more likely to contract this disease and who also live in high-risk areas, mainly Zulia and some regions of Mérida and the coast of Aragua. Another part will go to those victims of bites from animals sick with rabies or who are presumed to have this disease. In total, this donation will serve around 700 people. Thanks to the arrival of these vaccines, Venezuela increases its stock to serve the population that is in a situation of greater vulnerability to rabies and attend to specific cases if necessary.”
The joint support action between the two Centers in Brazil, as well as others for the location of important national and international airports both in São Paulo and in Rio de Janeiro, strengthened the Organization’s institutionality, allowing PAHO/WHO Venezuela to receive the vaccines in a timely manner to meet the preventive health needs of the country.
The PAHO/WHO Department of Communication coordinated the production of the video “Four PAHO Offices Collaborate for the Urgent Delivery of Human Rabies Vaccines to Venezuela” with the different officials and collaborators involved, where the importance of the commitment and motivation of all in favor of health can be observed.
 Organización Panamericana de la Salud. [Internet] Llegaron a Venezuela dos mil dosis de vacunas contra la rabia. 17 de junio de 2022. Available from: https://www.paho.org/es/noticias/17-6-2022-llegaron-venezuela-dos-mil-dosis-vacunas-contra-rabia