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Implementation of high coverage mass rabies vaccination in rural Uganda using predominantly static point methodology

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Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Veterinary Journal
Early online date23 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2019

Abstract

Despite successful eradication programmes in many regions, rabies remains responsible for approximately 60,000 human deaths annually, and no country in Africa is rabies-free. Dogs are the principal reservoir of the virus in Africa and the World Health Organisation recommends that at least 70% of the dog population be vaccinated in order to break the transmission cycle. Most attempts at mass rabies vaccinations in Africa have failed to vaccinate high numbers of dogs at a high coverage. Successful studies have often used a door-to-door (DTD) approach, which is logistically challenging and expensive compared to a static point (SP) approach. Mission Rabies has successfully implemented a combined SP and DTD method in cities in India and Malawi. This campaign used a combined methodology in rural Uganda, starting with a SP campaign, followed by a DTD campaign, and then subsequent transect surveys to assess vaccination coverage. This was facilitated by the use of a smartphone application which recorded all vaccinations and survey responses along with their Global Positioning System location. A total of 4172 dogs were vaccinated in 7 days, attaining an estimated 88.4% coverage. This campaign is of particular note as 95.9% of the vaccinations were performed at SPs. The human-to-dog ratio was 4.9 with a mean dogs per house of 1.2. Most dogs were owned (93.7%). This demonstrates that high-number, high-coverage vaccination is achievable in rural Uganda and provides data that may refine future campaign approaches.

    Research areas

  • canine rabies, mass vaccination, Africa, static point, mHealth

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