Rabies Free Africa | Newsletters

Program Update - April 2019

Apr 1, 2019

Great news! The U.S. National Institutes of Health recently awarded a 5 year grant to WSU to look at novel ways to increase vaccine coverage at the community level.  If shown to be cost effective while expanding coverage, a community led program will accelerate the drive towards elimination.

Dr. Lankester’s research will look at novel ways to increase vaccination coverage in rural communities. In March, he and Dr. Guy Palmer met with collaborators and high level representatives from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in Arusha. Joining that group were international rabies experts from Africa, Europe and the US.

This meeting was an opportunity to officially launch the project and discuss the methods of implementation. The program will be run by the Republic of Tanzania’s government and include a multi-agency research team represented by WSU, the University of Glasgow, the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology and the Ifakara Health Institute.

The team will investigate whether a de-centralized mass dog vaccination delivery system that relies on local veterinarians is more cost-effective and achieves better results. To study this, vaccines will be managed and delivered to communities throughout the year instead of administered annually by a team of vaccinators. The program will partner with district veterinarians so they have vaccines available to administer to new puppies or other dogs new to the area more frequently than once per year.

The hypothesis is that the new approach will reduce the cost per dog vaccinated and will lead to more consistent levels of coverage. The outcomes from this program will inform national rabies control strategies in Tanzania and beyond. This focus is also in alignment with our goal of helping empower governments to find strategies that utilize local staff and resources to find ways to prevent rabies.


Beyond Vaccination

Bryan Slinker, the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at WSU recently visited our programs in East Africa. He shared his thoughts about the experience. An excerpt is below and you can find the whole story on our website.

When Paul Allen visited East Africa, he saw how people’s daily lives could be improved and the desire for local institutions to better serve people in need. His experience motivated his generosity, and today the reach of his namesake Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health and its service to people has expanded even more than its founders could have imagined.

On a recent trip to Kenya, I visited the University of Nairobi. From 
Vice Chancellor Peter Mulwa Felix Mbithi’s conference room, I look out over Nairobi. It is a bustling city of about 3.5 million people from which WSU global health programs radiate across the region to study many important issues ranging from Zika virus to malnutrition. Key partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control in Kenya, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, and the University of Nairobi foster the collaborations needed to accomplish our missions.

Read more. 

Join Us

Dr. Felix Lankester will be in Seattle on May 14 and speaking at the Pacific Science Center as part of their Global Health Science in the City Series. He will be sharing how the program started (it involves lions!), what he’s learned from the research and what is next in the drive to eliminate rabies by 2030. 

Rabies is the most lethal infectious disease and kills more than 60,000 people, mainly children, every year. The spread of rabies into the Serengeti ecosystem demands answers about this powerful disease. Join the conversation about critical steps being taken to eliminate this deadly disease.

This program is free to the public. We encourage anyone in Seattle on that day to join us. 
Tuesday, May 14 from 7-9pm
Pacific Science Center

Register today online