Rabies control and elimination: Afrique One-ASPIRE on the right path

22 July 2017

The feasibility of canine rabies control and elimination of the disease has been demonstrated (Lankester et al. 2014). The research consortium Afrique One-ASPIRE incorporated canine rabies elimination into one of its Thematic Training Programs (TTPs) to close research gaps in the understanding of epidemiological, social, political and cultural factors influencing the effectiveness of interventions for the prevention, control and elimination of rabies.

To achieve this goal, the consortium recruited 6 fellows including 1 postdoc, 1 PhD student and 4 Master students. All the fellows were gathered for the first time from 19 – 21 of July 2017 in Dakar, Senegal. The aim of this meeting was to (i) establish the initial contact between all TTP-Rabies elimination members and the coordination team, (ii) to present the TTP-Rabies goals and address the design of their research protocols.

This important first meeting was honoured by the presence of distinguished stakeholders and researchers in this field. Prof Bassirou Bonfoh, Director of Afrique-One ASPIRE, Dr Youssouf Kaboré, chief of the FAO Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD-FAO) in Senegal, Dr Ismail Seck, National Coordinator of ECTAD-FAO in Senegal, Dr Adji Marème Gaye, Livestock Ministry and Dr Mamadou Korka Diallo, Focal point of Rabies PEP at Institut Pasteur of Dakar were all present.

More efforts needed

Rabies elimination is feasible but greater efforts are needed regarding the feedback on exposition to the virus which means a strengthened partnership between the public health sector and the veterinary health systems is needed also including the participation of population and local and administrative authorities. Afrique One-ASPIRE is already on the case by contributing to the setup of a multi-sectoral committee for rabies control and elimination and by training students to use the One Health approach.

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