Dr. Monique Léchenne, PhD, med. vet.
Monique Léchenne, PhD, med. vet ., is a veterinary epidemiologist and rabies expert. She is working as postdoc and project coordinator in the Human and Animal Health Unit in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Swiss TPH. She holds a federal veterinary diploma obtained in 2009 at the Vetsuisse faculty in Bern and a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Basel obtained in 2015. During her veterinary studies she gained experience in pathology and wildlife disease research. Her PhD included the organization and epidemiological follow-up of two dog mass-vaccination campaigns in N’Djamena, the capital city of Chad. The intervention led to a drastic drop of dog rabies incidence. Data on animal rabies incidence, bite exposure incidence and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) demand were used to validate a dog to human transmission model and to update the cost-effectiveness analysis of dog vaccination. The thesis also includes the validation of a rapid, simple rabies diagnostic test that has the potential to enhance surveillance in resource poor settings. She also coordinated a Chadian national dog demographic survey coupled with a Knowledge Attitude and Practices (KAP) study. The data collected on the national level together with the economic analysis of the campaigns in N’Djamena led to budget estimation for the elimination of rabies in Chad.
Currently Monique is the regional coordinator of the large scale GAVI funded study on rabies burden and vaccine demand in West and Central Africa. The data collection is done in three countries (Mali, Chad and Côte d’Ivoire) and on three different levels: in households, in health facilities and on the veterinary/diagnostic level. The results of the study will influence the decision making for the GAVI investment strategy from 2019 onward.