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Challenges to the Fight against Rabies-The Landscape of Policy and Prevention Strategies in Africa.

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Haselbeck, Andrea Haekyung  ORCID logo
Rietmann, Sylvie 
Tadesse, Birkneh Tilahun  ORCID logo
Kaschubat-Dieudonné, Maria Elena 


Nearly 59,000 human deaths worldwide are attributable to rabies annually, of which more than a third occur in Africa. In recent years, progress has been made in both action and collaboration including implementation of surveillance and prevention measures. In this review we assess the scale of surveillance, preventive, and control efforts of canine-transmitted human rabies in African countries. We reviewed literature published from 2014 to 2018, retrieved from electronic databases including MEDLINE, Global Index Medicus, BIOSIS, Science Citation Index, and EMBASE. WHO reports, national disease control program reports, and conference proceedings were also reviewed. The database search was conducted using keywords including rabies, control, and prevention. In forty countries (40/54), some level of rabies control and prevention strategy was available while in fourteen (14/54) countries, no specific national control and prevention strategy for human rabies could be retrieved. Thirty-four (34/54) countries utilized the Stepwise Approach towards Rabies Elimination (SARE) tool to monitor the national rabies control efforts-five of these countries were at the lowest tier (0/5) of the SARE scoring system while no country had achieved the highest score (5/5). High burden countries need to step up the implementation of context specific national rabies control, prevention, and monitoring strategies. As a zoonosis, rabies control and elimination require coordination between human and veterinarian health sectors under the "One Health" umbrella and with national master plans on the prevention and control of neglected tropical diseases ending in 2020, the time to act is now.



Africa, prevention, rabies, zoonoses, Africa, Animals, Disease Eradication, Dog Diseases, Dogs, Humans, Policy, Rabies, Rabies Vaccines

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Int J Environ Res Public Health

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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1127988)