Experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ohio State University, and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control are in Ethiopia August 1-12 to provide training hosted by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) to 20 animal health and human health surveillance officers from Addis Ababa, Oromia, Tigray, and Amhara regions.
The participants will become familiar with animal rabies surveillance, including how to assess if an animal is rabid, how long animals suspected of rabies should be quarantined, how to safely capture animals who may be rabid, and the guidelines for data collection and reporting.
“We are fortunate to have partners for human health and for animal health engaged together in the prevention and control of rabies in Ethiopia,” said Dr. Lucy Boulanger, CDC Ethiopia’s program director for Global Health Security. “Developing capacity for detection, prevention, and control of rabies could improve the ability to detect, prevent, and control a new disease for Ethiopia.” The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and the Federal Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (FMOLF) are working together through the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) to improve detection, prevention, and response to priority zoonotic diseases, such as rabies. Rabies is common throughout Ethiopia, affecting dogs, humans, and wildlife.
After a bite by an infected animal, rabies almost always leads to death if left untreated. However, with improved surveillance and laboratory confirmation, communities in Ethiopia could reduce the number of animals with rabies and reduce the risk to humans. The rabies surveillance training is part of a comprehensive portfolio of activities to reduce the impact of rabies and to reduce the zoonotic disease that most often impact people in Ethiopia.
In addition to surveillance training, two EPHI laboratory technicians received advanced training on rabies testing at the CDC in Atlanta in May 2016. CDC experts will provide introductory diagnostic training to laboratory technicians from the National Reference Lab at EPHI and selected regional health bureaus in September 2016.
Finally, CDC experts are providing technical assistance on rabies vaccine to ensure that a prevention strategy is also in place. GHSA is an effort by nations, international organizations, and civil society to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats and to promote global health security as an international priority.