Conference abstract

Assessment of dog bites/human rabies surveillance data, Eastern Region, 2016

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:3(90).27 Oct 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.3.90.224
Archived on: 27 Oct 2017
Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Rabies, trend of dog bite, human rabies cases
Oral presentation

Assessment of dog bites/human rabies surveillance data, Eastern Region, 2016

Adomako Boakye-Yiadom1,&, Frank Baiden2, Samuel Sackey Oko1, Donne Ameme1, Fred Wurapa1, Kofi Mensah Nyarko3, Ernest Kenu1, Edwin Andrew Afari1

1Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Accra, Ghana, 2Ensign School of Public Health, Ghana, 3Namibia FELTP, Namibia

&Corresponding author
Adomako Boakye-Yiadom, Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Accra, Ghana


Introduction: rabies is a zoonotic disease caused by the rabies virus. Domestic dogs are the most common reservoirs of the virus. Dog bites are responsible for over 95% of human rabies deaths. Rabies has the highest case-fatality rate of all infectious diseases of humans. About 95% of rabies cases are reported in Asia and Africa. In Ghana, rabies cases and deaths are under-reported. Hence, the true burden of the disease is usually underestimated. We analyzed data in Eastern Region of Ghana to characterize the trend of dog bites and human rabies and identify discrepancies in data for reporting cases.

Methods: we analyzed recorded dog bites and human rabies cases from 2011 to 2015 in the Eastern Region. Data were collected from DHIMS, Regional Disease Control Unit and Regional Veterinary Unit. The results were expressed in frequencies, percentages and incidences. We used Stata version 13 for data analysis.

Results: a total of 4821 dog bites/suspected rabies cases were recorded from 2011 to 2015. Children 5 to 9 years old were most affected. Males were more affected (51.2%) than females. Kwahu West District recorded the highest incidence of cases (625/100,000). Eighteen deaths from human rabies were recorded from 2011 - 2015. New Juaben Municipality recorded the highest number of deaths (6 deaths). Majority of rabies deaths (73%) occurred in urban areas. Eighty-two percent of those who died from rabies did not receive post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) also the vaccination status of the rest were unknown. The number of cases recorded for New Juaben Municipality at the Regional Health Directorate was 5.5 times that recorded at the veterinary unit for the same period.

Conclusion: the burden of dog bites and human rabies is a public health problem in the Eastern Region and Ghana as a whole. The data underline the need for improved availability and timely administration of PEP in the treatment of dog bite victims. There is also the need for improved collaborative effort and effective communication between the various units within the health system of Ghana.