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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(3), 29; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2030029

The Formation of the Eastern Africa Rabies Network: A Sub-Regional Approach to Rabies Elimination

1
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA
2
Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria, 0028 Pretoria, South Africa
3
Global Alliance for Rabies Control SA NPC, Erasmus Forum A434, South Erasmus Rand, 0181 Pretoria, South Africa
4
Zoonotic Disease Unit, Kenya Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya
5
Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
6
Ethiopian Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
7
Ethiopian Ministry of Wildlife and Conservation, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
8
Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture, Kigali, Rwanda
9
Tanzania Directorate of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Dar es Salam, Tanzania
10
Tanzania Ministry of Health, Dar es Salam, Tanzania
11
Division of Global Health Protection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nairobi, Kenya
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rabies Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prophylaxis and Treatment)
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Abstract

Abstract: International rabies networks have been formed in many of the canine-rabies endemic regions around the world to create unified and directed regional approaches towards elimination. The aim of the first sub-regional Eastern Africa rabies network meeting, which included Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda, was to discuss how individual country strategies could be coordinated to address the unique challenges that are faced within the network. The Stepwise Approach towards Rabies Elimination and the Global Dog Rabies Elimination Pathway tool were used to stimulate discussion and planning to achieve the elimination of canine-mediated human rabies by 2030. Our analysis estimated a total dog population of 18.3 million dogs in the Eastern Africa region. The current dog vaccination coverage was estimated to be approximately 5% (915,000 dogs), with an estimated 4910 vaccinators available. Assuming that every vaccinator performs rabies vaccination, this equated to each vaccinator currently vaccinating 186 dogs per year, whilst the target would be to vaccinate 2609 dogs every year for the community to reach 70% coverage. In order to achieve the World Health Organization-recommended 70% vaccination coverage, an additional 11 million dogs need to be vaccinated each year, pointing to an average annual shortfall of $ 23 million USD in current spending to achieve elimination by 2030 across the region. Improved vaccination efficiency within the region could be achieved by improving logistics and/or incorporating multiple vaccination methods to increase vaccinator efficiency, and could serve to reduce the financial burden associated with rabies elimination. Regional approaches to rabies control are of value, as neighboring countries can share their unique challenges while, at the same time, common approaches can be developed and resource-saving strategies can be implemented. View Full-Text
Keywords: words: rabies surveillance; rabies network; Africa; rabies elimination words: rabies surveillance; rabies network; Africa; rabies elimination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pieracci, E.G.; Scott, T.P.; Coetzer, A.; Athman, M.; Mutembei, A.; Kidane, A.H.; Bekele, M.; Ayalew, G.; Ntegeyibizaza, S.; Assenga, J.; Markalio, G.; Munyua, P.; Nel, L.H.; Blanton, J. The Formation of the Eastern Africa Rabies Network: A Sub-Regional Approach to Rabies Elimination. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2, 29.

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