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Ivorian scientists contribute to WHO protocol for eliminating rabies

Ivorian scientists contribute to WHO protocol for eliminating rabies

Scientists in Côte d’Ivoire contributed to the adoption of a new World Health Organization (WHO) cost-effective protocol for eliminating rabies that reduces the number of shots a patient has to take by half. Andree Prisca Ndjoug Ndour, a postdoctoral trainee with Afrique One- ASPIRE, was of the 20 researchers in Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Chad who took part in a collaborative public-private partnership (Rabies project of Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunization (GAVI), GSK, WHO). Afrique One ASPRE is one of the 12 programmes funded through DELTAS Africa, a scheme of The African Academy of Sciences. Implemented with the support of Wellcome and DFID.

 

At a glance

A trial that ran in 2016-2017 in Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Chad involving 8,000 households per country, dog bite victims from selected health facilities and rabid dogs from veterinary services.

 

The trial tested the feasibility and the cost-effectiveness of the intradermal (ID) protocol, a new treatment schedule, which requires rabies patients to take 2 shots of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

 

It found the new treatment regime to reduce the amount of treatment needed by 80%, thereby making it safe, immunogenic and cost-effective.

 

 

 

Trialing a new protocol for treating rabies

The scientists conducted a trial that ran in 2016-2017 in Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Chad involving 8,000 households per country, dog bite victims from selected health facilities and rabid dogs from veterinary services. The trial tested the feasibility and the cost-effectiveness of the intradermal (ID) protocol, a new treatment schedule, which requires rabies patients to take 2 shots of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

 

Successful results

It found the new treatment regime to reduce the amount of treatment needed by 80%, thereby making it safe, immunogenic and cost-effective. In comparison, the current Intramuscular (IM) PEP treatment schedule requires patients to take four injections, which causes most people to not follow through with the treatment because of associated costs. About 60,000 patients die of rabies annually in Africa and Asia every year. Rabies is a zoonosis, a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans, that is caused by a virus and is known to be present in more than 150 countries and territories of all continents except Antarctica. Rabies virus infects domestic and wild animals and is spread to people through close contact with infected animals’ saliva via bites or scratches.

 

Filling critical gaps

 

The project also fills the information gap on rabies in West and Central Africa, especially in terms of rabies pea, population estimates, and the need for PEP. All of this data is fundamental to the development of an integrated rabies control strategy for its elimination by 2030.

About Ndour

 

Andree Prisca Ndjoug Ndour is a veterinarian who holds a master’s degree in veterinary public health since 2012, which she completed under Afrique One. From 2013-2015, she was an associate researcher of the Safe Food Fair Food project managed by ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute) and CSRS (Centre Suisse de Recherche Scientifique en Côte d’Ivoire). At EISMV( Ecole InterEtat de Medecine Vétérinaire de Dakar), she has been an assistant lecturer for the Veterinary Public Health Masters programme since 2013. In her time as associate researcher, she also managed different investigations on brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis in Senegal. Currently, she is a postdoctoral research assistant of the Brucellosis in West and Central Africa project on behalf of the Zoonosis and Emerging Livestock System (ZELS) project based at EISMV as well as the Post-doc of the Rabies Elimination thematic training programme of Afrique One-ASPIRE.