Conference abstract

Rabies elimination as a one-health model for the tropics: can this be a solution to the protracted problem in West Africa?

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:5(11).13 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.5.11.532

Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: One-health approach, rabies control program, round table discussion, West Africa
Abstract

Rabies elimination as a one-health model for the tropics: can this be a solution to the protracted problem in West Africa?

George Beran1,&, Albert Ogunkoya2, Benjamin Emikpe3,4,5, William Tasiame4, Nykoi Jomah3,6, Ayotunde Fasunla3,7, Babasola Olugasa3

1College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, United States, 2Department of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria, 3Centre for Control and Prevention of Zoonoses (CCPZ), University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, 4School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, 5Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, 6Central Agricultural Research Institute, Suakoko, Liberia, 7Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

&Corresponding author
George Beran, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, United States

Abstract

Introduction: the high number of annual rabies deaths in people and dogs in West Africa raises a fundamental epidemiological question among stakeholders. Rabies control program has successfully reduced rabies deaths in South America and Australia. Why is the programme not producing the desired effect in West Africa? What are the factors responsible for its failure?

Methods: a round table discussion sought to answer the following questions: Why should emphasis be placed on human exposure through dog bites and on fatal human cases of rabies? Whereas, laboratory confirmation of exposure to rabies is infrequently done in West Africa, how can it be performed and why is it important? What should be done to prevent exposure or once exposure has occurred? How should the source of rabies exposure in people be identified? How can the source be located? What should be done and why?

Results: frequently, the outbreak of rabies in dogs is identified as the source of human rabies outbreak; hence, it is important for something to be done by the veterinarians and by physicians in post-exposure care of dog bite victims. Vaccination of dogs should be performed not only where dogs have bitten people or exposed to other dogs, but should be universal, no matter how much it costs. Wandering dogs are classified as rabies risks and should be vaccinated.

Conclusion: since the transmission of rabies to people was considered a “One-Health” affliction, we concluded that “one-health” approach would be a novel solution to the protracted problem in West Africa.