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Catalysing action against rabies

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Publisher
B M J Group
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Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Elimination of canine rabies has been achieved in some parts of the world, but the disease still kills many thousands of people each year in Africa. Here we counter common arguments given for the lack of effective canine rabies control in Africa presenting detailed data from a range of settings. We conclude that rabies substantially affects public and animal health sectors, hence regional and national priorities for control ought to be higher, for practical purposes domestic dogs are the sole maintenance hosts and main source of infection for humans throughout most of Africa and Asia and sufficient levels of vaccination coverage in domestic dog populations should lead to elimination of canine rabies in most areas, the vast majority of domestic dog populations across sub-Saharan Africa are accessible for vaccination with community sensitization being of paramount importance for the success of these programs,improved local capacity in rabies surveillance and diagnostics will help evaluate the impact of control and elimination efforts, and (5) sustainable resources for effective dog vaccination campaigns are likely to be available through the development of intersectoral financing schemes involving both medical and veterinary sectors.

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