Situation in N´Djamena
In N´Djamena, capital city of Chad, Swiss TPH (Tropical and Public Health Institute) interacted towards solving this problem. Although the disease is very present, it is neglected and does not appear in official statistics. Due to this ignorance, most inhabitants are unaware of the right measures to take in case of an exposure, or even the existence of human vaccination possibilities. Simultaneously, over 23’000 dogs roam around human habitations in search of garbage: Dog owners with the capacities to feed and care for their animals are rare.
Strategy to Control Rabies
Swiss TPH was asked for collaboration when the Chadian authorities decided to work on the problem. The Chadian partners were IRED (Institut de Recherche en Elevage pour le Développement) and CSSI (Centre de Support en Santé Internationale). Under the principle of “one health”, they would try to develop the most cost-effective and feasible strategy to control rabies in N´Djamena.
During pilot vaccination campaigns in 2012 and 2013 conducted in 3 quarters of N’Djamena, data were collected to construct a mathematical model to evaluate the cost effectiveness of a mass vaccination over the whole city area. This model showed that the dog vaccination costs would be surmounted by the constantly growing costs of post-exposure prophylaxis after six years. After the Chadian authorities were convinced by the economization, the vaccination of 1800 dogs was achieved in 2012, thanks to the mobilized financial resources from IRED and major support of UBS Optimus foundation. During the second mass vaccination in 2013, 22’000 dogs were immunized.