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Prev Vet Med. 2013 Aug 1;111(1-2):10-6. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2013.03.010. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Spatial accessibility to vaccination sites in a campaign against rabies in São Paulo city, Brazil.

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Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Dr. Orlando Marques de Paiva, 87, CEP: 05508270, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, Brazil.


It is estimated that the city of São Paulo has over 2.5 million dogs and 560 thousand cats. These populations are irregularly distributed throughout the territory, making it difficult to appropriately allocate health services focused on these species. To reasonably allocate vaccination sites, it is necessary to identify social groups and their access to the referred service. Rabies in dogs and cats has been an important zoonotic health issue in São Paulo and the key component of rabies control is vaccination. The present study aims to introduce an approach to quantify the potential spatial accessibility to the vaccination sites of the 2009 campaign against rabies in the city of São Paulo and solve the overestimation associated with the classic methodology that applies buffer zones around vaccination sites based on Euclidean (straight-line) distance. To achieve this, a Gaussian-based two-step floating catchment area method with a travel-friction coefficient was adapted in a geographic information system environment, using distances along a street network based on Dijkstra's algorithm (short path method). The choice of the distance calculation method affected the results in terms of the population covered. In general, areas with low accessibility for both dogs and cats were observed, especially in densely populated areas. The eastern zone of the city had higher accessibility values compared with peripheral and central zones. The Gaussian-based two-step floating catchment method with a travel-friction coefficient was used to assess the overestimation of the straight-line distance method, which is the most widely used method for coverage analysis. We conclude that this approach has the potential to improve the efficiency of resource use when planning rabies control programs in large urban environments such as São Paulo. The findings emphasize the need for surveillance and intervention in isolated areas.

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