WSU Global Health |  Tanzania

Tanzania Research

Rabies Elimination


Control of rabies, canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus within the Serengeti Ecosystem: Involves mass dog vaccination (MDV) activities which take 12 months to complete in seven districts around the Serengeti National Park. Following the implementation of MDV, a village wide dog vaccination census is carried out in a sample of villages to determine the proportion of dogs that have been vaccinated and the proportion that remain unvaccinated. The target coverage is 70%. If the team do not achieve this level of coverage then follow up vaccination activities can be planned.

Funded by Washington State University (USA); Tusk Trust (UK); MSD Animal Health (UK).


Evaluation of Dog Rabies Vaccine Thermostability, Immunogenicity and Delivery Systems: The evaluation of MDV (Mass Dogs Vaccination) delivery systems is being carried out through a collaboration with the Director of Veterinary Services (DVS) and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. To implement the program, three PhD students are coordinating the mass vaccination of dogs across the Mara region and will be comparing the vaccination coverage achieved through two different strategies.

  • Team-led pulsed delivery strategy through which District Veterinary Officer-led teams visit villages once per year to deliver vaccination and
  • Community-led continuous delivery strategy through which vaccination activities led by Livestock Field Officers continue within a ward throughout the year.

Following MDV, the research team visit villages across the region to estimate vaccination coverage. This will enable coverage in the two arms of the trial to be compared. This five-year program began in late 2020 and will continue through to 2024. 

Funded by National Institutes of Health (USA Government) and MSD Animal Health

WSU, Rabies Free Africa


The ecology and epidemiology of Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Tanzania: CCHF is a lethal hemorrhagic viral disease of people that is spread by bites from infected ticks. This five year project, which GAHT is coordinating and administering and is funded through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (USA Government), is the first of its kind to investigate the presence and impact of CCHF in Tanzania. Fieldwork for the study will begin in late 2021 and as a co-PI Prof. Lankester is playing a key role in the study’s design and leadership.  To investigate the ecology and epidemiology of this virus, the Global Animal Health Tanzania field teams will collect samples from livestock, wildlife and people across northern Tanzania (Arusha region).



Rabies Free Tanzania research initiative is focused on ways to decrease the cost of delivering canine rabies vaccines to communities, especially those in rural areas. Led by Dr. Felix Lankester, ongoing research has demonstrated that the rabies vaccine commonly used to inoculate dogs is thermo-tolerant and can be stored for extended periods of time outside of refrigeration units without losing its ability to protect dogs against rabies. This study leverages Tanzanian field officers and community one health champions as vaccinators using rabies vaccines stored in rural districts. This project allows for the study new delivery methods using existing government resources to decrease the cost of mass-dog vaccination campaigns.

This project is funded by the WSU Rabies Free Africa Initiative and others.