Conference abstract

One-health approach to the control and prevention of rabies in humans and animals: overcoming the barriers

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:5(3).13 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.5.3.523

Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Rabies, one-health collaboration, millennium development goal, post-exposure prophylaxis

One-health approach to the control and prevention of rabies in humans and animals: overcoming the barriers

Anthony Osei-Tutu1,&, Dickson Ankugah2, Ernest Ameyaw3, Mark Tettey4, Kwame Sarpong1

1Veterinary Disease Investigation Laboratory, Techiman, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana, 2Veterinary Services Directorate, Accra, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana, 3Holy Family Hospital, Techiman, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana Health Service, Ghana, 4Public Health Unit, Veterinary Services Department, Ho, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana

&Corresponding author
Anthony Osei-Tutu, Veterinary Disease Investigation Laboratory, Techiman, Ghana


Introduction: rabies, a neglected zoonotic disease remains one of the most important public health problems worldwide. Although new opportunities have emerged to promote health in the rapidly changing human, animal and environmental domains, our ability to protect, improve, and advance health cannot be based on strategies and mindsets of sectoral and uni-disciplinary approach, but rather, a trans-disciplinary one-health concept approach. One-Health embraces a broad based strategy for managing infectious diseases through multi-disciplinary communication and collaboration, with optimal environmental, human, domestic animal, and wildlife health outcomes at local, national, and global levels.

Methods: traditionally, communication among health workers, animal health workers, dog owners and dog bite victims (DBV) has been weak in Techiman Municipality. We used the One-Health strategy to highlight how integration and collaboration among these stakeholders could result in more rapid prevention and control of rabies in both animals and humans.

Results: One-Health strategy provided effective and timely exchange of information among the stakeholders. Consequently, the approach was beneficial in avoiding unnecessary post-exposure prophylaxis, treatments and undue economic burden to 88% (573) DBV. While the One-Health approach was beneficial to avoid unnecessary post-exposure prophylaxis, 18% (157) of DBV had to receive post-exposure prophylaxis to positively diagnosed cases and stray dog bite exposures.

Conclusion: acceptance and practice of one-health concept can advance and impact significantly on prevention and control of rabies in dogs thereby contributing to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal, six which focuses on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.