Emergence of rabies in West Africa forum
1Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria
Albert Ogunkoya, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
between 1980 and early 1990s, Rabies in the Americas (RITA) organization was established with a common interest in advancing the knowledge, prevention and control of rabies. Its goal was to "route out rabies in the Americas". RITA vaccinated about four million dogs annually; strengthened surveillance and data generation; developed new diagnostic technologies; acquired more understanding of local dog population; strengthened professional adjuncts, employed "One-Health" concept; attained dog rabies freedom in 19 of 21 capital cities in Latin America, with 90% decline in human deaths due to rabies.
in response to suggestions from RITA members, the Society for Rabies in West Africa (RIWA) emerged, focusing on replicating RITA model activities in West Africa. The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health and the University of Ibadan Center for Control and Prevention of Zoonoses, Ibadan, Nigeria sponsored the inaugural conference of RIWA between 4th and 7th December 2012. About 300 participants from Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, the United States and West Indies registered.
twenty-five scientific papers were presented, with focus on rabies as a "One-Health" and trans-boundary disease. Participants included epidemiologists, physicians, veterinarians, laboratory technologists, pharmacists, sociologists, nurses, indigenous knowledge experts and postgraduate students in human/animal disease surveillance programs. The inaugural RIWA conference made a cross-cutting observation that the sub-regionís inadequate rabies records were due to sub-optimal surveillance.
the conference concluded that rabies surveillance was critically neglected among member countries in West Africa. Thus, there is need to optimize rabies surveillance activities and record keeping to encourage rabies prioritization for elimination.
The 2nd International Conference on Rabies in West Africa (RIWA) (Madina)
Rabies in West Africa, a forum to coordinate regular meeting among governments and stakeholders in one-health, was inaugurated in December, 2012 to link Anglophone and Francophone West African countries in the surveillance and control of rabies. It aims to disseminate progress reports on rabies surveillance and control activities in West Africa. Its first conference was jointly sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria and the University of Ibadan Centre for Control and Prevention of Zoonoses. The 2nd conference was held concurrently with the 20th Congress of the Ghana Veterinary Medical Association. The scientific programme included 2 lead papers, 9 symposia and a roundtable discussion. The presented papers which focused on: (i) knowledge, attitude and practices among native community stakeholders; (ii) clinical detection and outbreak investigations; (iii) national laboratory diagnostic activities and vaccination records; (iv) wildlife infection study; and (v) spatial or spatio-temporal distribution of dog bite victims with suspected, probable and confirmed rabies exposures from three countries namely, Ghana (7); Nigeria (4) and Liberia (1). The conference gave consensus report that rabies has remained a neglected disease in West Africa and therefore deserves one-health approach for its control and prevention alongside a stepwise eradication in domestic dogs and humans.
Dates: 28 Oct 14 - 31 Oct 14
Venue: Institute of Local Government Studies
Organizers: The Society for Rabies in West Africa
Contact person: Professor Albert B. Ogunkoya (firstname.lastname@example.org)