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Bull World Health Organ. 2003; 81(10): 739–744.
Published online Nov 25, 2003.
PMCID: PMC2572337

Coverage of pilot parenteral vaccination campaign against canine rabies in N'Djaména, Chad.

Abstract

Canine rabies, and thus human exposure to rabies, can be controlled through mass vaccination of the animal reservoir if dog owners are willing to cooperate. Inaccessible, ownerless dogs, however, reduce the vaccination coverage achieved in parenteral campaigns. This study aimed to estimate the vaccination coverage in dogs in three study zones of N'Djaména, Chad, after a pilot free parenteral mass vaccination campaign against rabies. We used a capture-mark-recapture approach for population estimates, with a Bayesian, Markov chain, Monte Carlo method to estimate the total number of owned dogs, and the ratio of ownerless to owned dogs to calculate vaccination coverage. When we took into account ownerless dogs, the vaccination coverage in the dog populations was 87% (95% confidence interval (CI), 84-89%) in study zone I, 71% (95% CI, 64-76%) in zone II, and 64% (95% CI, 58-71%) in zone III. The proportions of ownerless dogs to owned dogs were 1.1% (95% CI, 0-3.1%), 7.6% (95% CI, 0.7-16.5%), and 10.6% (95% CI, 1.6-19.1%) in the three study zones, respectively. Vaccination coverage in the three populations of owned dogs was 88% (95% CI, 84-92%) in zone I, 76% (95% CI, 71-81%) in zone II, and 70% (95% CI, 66-76%) in zone III. Participation of dog owners in the free campaign was high, and the number of inaccessible ownerless dogs was low. High levels of vaccination coverage could be achieved with parenteral mass vaccination. Regular parenteral vaccination campaigns to cover all of N'Djaména should be considered as an ethical way of preventing human rabies when post-exposure treatment is of limited availability and high in cost.

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