Two more African countries align themselves with the Global Strategic Plan
What a start to the year! The saying, “There is no time like the present” was taken to heart by two West African countries – Burkina Faso and Nigeria. Without any hesitation or delay, rabies champions from each of the countries got together to organize a Stepwise Approach towards Rabies Elimination (SARE) workshop in their respective countries in the first few months of 2022. In each workshop, stakeholders in each country come together in a One Health capacity (see the relevance of this with our World Rabies Day theme for 2022) to self-evaluate the current rabies elimination efforts. In addition, a SARE workshop isn’t your typical workshop with lots of long presentations and speeches, but rather an interactive forum that critically evaluates every aspect of the rabies elimination needs in the country to create an actionable and helpful outcome – a rabies elimination work plan that can immediately be actioned. Importantly, a SARE workshop in any country is a huge milestone as the tool helps a government to align its rabies control efforts with the Zero by 30: Global Strategic Plan.
GARC partnered closely with the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations) to facilitate and assist in delivering the SARE workshop in Burkina Faso, while in Nigeria, we partnered with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) of the United Kingdom.
Highlights from Burkina Faso
Following the workshop (which was only concluded a few weeks ago), Burkina Faso is already taking action in line with their work plan. The rabies team has begun drafting their National Strategic Plan using the template created by the United Against Rabies (UAR) Forum which consists of national and international experts from around the world. The plan developed will be key to gaining ministerial support and advocating for action to achieve rabies elimination.
Highlights from Nigeria
With the Nigerian government already hard at work creating their National Strategic Plan using the template created by the UAR prior to the SARE assessment, the workshop (which concluded in March 2022) provided the National Strategic Group for Rabies with a work plan that acts as a detailed roadmap of how rabies will be controlled and eliminated from the country. In so doing, the government will soon have access to a National Strategic Plan – which can be used to gain political support – and an accompanying work plan that will enable them to implement activities towards achieving the "Zero by 30" goal.
We would like to congratulate the governments of both Nigeria and Burkina Faso for taking the initiative and making a huge stride towards the Zero by 30 goal. As always, GARC will continue to support these countries (or any other) with our tools and resources so that the activities highlighted in the respective work plans can be more easily and efficiently accomplished.
Learn about the various activities we are supporting in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, or anywhere else that we work on our “Where we work” page.
Article contributed by: Drs Andre Coetzer and Terence Scott (GARC)