Transmission of rabies from animals to people continues despite availability of good vaccines for both human and animal use. The only effective strategy to achieve elimination of dog rabies and the related human exposure is to immunize dogs at high coverage levels. We present the analysis of two consecutive parenteral dog mass vaccination campaigns conducted in N'Djamena in 2012 and 2013 to advocate the feasibility and effectiveness for rabies control through proof of concept. The overall coverage reached by the intervention was >70% in both years. Monthly reported rabies cases in dogs decreased by more than 90% within one year. Key points were a cooperative collaboration between the three partner institutions involved in the control program, sufficient information and communication strategy to access local leaders and the public, careful planning of the practical implementation phase and the effective motivation of staff. The dynamic and semi to non-restricted nature of dog populations in most rabies endemic areas is often considered to be a major obstacle to achieve sufficient vaccination coverage. However, we show that feasibility of dog mass vaccination is highly dependent on human determinants of dog population accessibility and the disease awareness of dog owners. Consequently, prior evaluation of the human cultural and socio-economic context is an important prerequisite for planning dog rabies vaccination campaigns.
Léchenne, M., Oussiguere, A., Naissengar, K., Mindekem, R., Mosimann, L., Rives, G., … Vounatsou, P. (2016). Operational performance and analysis of two rabies vaccination campaigns in N’Djamena, Chad. Vaccine, 34(4), 571–577. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.11.033