The objectives of this study are to evaluate the current animal rabies surveillance system in the state and suggest recommendations.
Rabies is a zoonotic, neglected viral disease. Every 10 minutes, the world loses a life, especially children, to dog-mediated rabies. Yet it is 100% preventable. Africa, including Nigeria, has major share of the disease. Eradication of human rabies relies majorly on control of rabies in animals and this cannot be achieved without good surveillance system of the disease in animal, especially dogs. There is little or no information as to whether the surveillance system in Nigeria is effective.
We reviewed the medical records of all rabies cases reported in the 10 government and 5 registered private veterinary health facilities in the 16 LGAs of the state. We extracted 44 cases of rabies in all, between review period of 2012-2017. We also interviewed 25 key stakeholders in the system using Key Informant Interview (KII) and questionnaires. We followed the steps stated in CDC guideline for evaluation of public health surveillance system to assess the key attributes and components of the system, and analysed the data using Microsoft Excel.
Two (20%) of the government and only one in five private veterinary health facilities had records on rabies cases. All reported cases of suspected rabies involved dog bites. The confirmatory status of 32 (72.7%) of the suspected cases were unknown. Six (37.5%) LGAs did not have access to any veterinary health facility. Average of 1 technical staff per veterinary facility was seen. Overall, the system was useful and flexible. It was fairly simple, acceptable and representative. Both sensitivity and predictive Value Positive (PVP) were less than 1% while the timeliness, data quality and stability were poor
The surveillance system was performing below optimal level. There is need for improvement in the animal rabies surveillance system to achieve elimination of human rabies in Nigeria.
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