28th October 2019
The activity will mark World Rabies Day (September 28th) and the fact that thousands of people die from rabies every year in over 100 countries*. It is part of CEGA’s ongoing commitment to ensure that customers calling its assistance helpline after an animal bite or scratch abroad consistently receive the very best, informed service – complementing wider training for the provider’s non-medical staff.
CEGA’s strict protocol for reported animal bites or scratches includes referring an affected customer immediately to the medical team for individual assessment. If necessary, it will then arrange transport to a medical centre to provide the appropriate rabies vaccination or antidote. According to the World Health Organisation, immunisation within a few hours of a bite can prevent the onset of rabies.
Kim Hoolahan, CEGA’s medical team manager, and the organiser behind the October initiative, says, “We have a lot of calls from individuals abroad after bites or scratches, and we regularly reinforce the skills of our frontline call handlers, to facilitate rapid evaluation and access to specialist advice and suitable treatment as quickly as possible.
“We urge travel insurance policyholders who have been bitten or scratched by a potentially infected animal to call the assistance helpline that comes with their travel insurance policy immediately, so they can receive the right advice.”
World Rabies Day is the global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention. This year’s theme focuses on vaccination, the foundation of all rabies control efforts.
*World Health Organisation stats