Conference abstract

Can the cycle of rabies transmission be broken with current dog vaccination coverage in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana?

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:5(9).13 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.5.9.529

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Keywords: Rabies, lyssavirus, dogs, Greater Accra
Abstract

Can the cycle of rabies transmission be broken with current dog vaccination coverage in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana?

Perdita Lopes1,2,&, Patricia Akweongo1, Ebenezer Afari1, Frederick Wurapa1, Samuel Sackey1

1Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana, 2Veterinary Services Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Accra, Ghana

&Corresponding author
Perdita Lopes, Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana

Abstract

Introduction: rabies, a highly fatal, viral disease caused by a Lyssavirus from the family Rhadoviridae, is acquired through the bite of an infected animal, mostly dogs. It can affect all warm blooded vertebrates including man. Estimated annual global human mortalities from rabies is 55,000, of which 31,000 and 24,000 are from Asia and Africa respectively, where an estimated US$ 583.5 million is spent on its control. Rabies is endemic in Ghana. We undertook an analysis of rabies data in the Greater Accra Region to determine the magnitude and the trend of animal rabies, and assess percentage coverage of animal anti-rabies vaccinations annually from 2007 - 2011.

Methods: we reviewed all rabies records for all ten districts in the region, interviewed staff of the regional rabies desks, and abstracted data from post-mortem. Data was entered and analysed with Microsoft Excel and Epi-InfoTM version 3.5.3. We calculated means, percentages, drew graphs and analysed trends.

Results: a total of 309 animal specimens tested during the period, 283/309 were positive for rabies; predictive value positive being 91.6%. Of the positive cases, 272/283 (96.1%) were dogs, 276/283 (97.5%) of which had no previous vaccination history. Pet vaccinations and the number of outbreaks were highest in 2011 at 14,521 and 55 respectively. Percentage vaccination ranged from 5.9 - 7.8, falling far short of the 70% recommended by the World Health Organization.

Conclusion: the upsurge in rabies outbreaks in Greater Accra Region could be due to the low vaccination coverage and absence of simultaneous mass vaccinations across the districts.