Description of your work
I am part of Rabies Free Burkina Faso, a multidisciplinary civil society organization founded in Burkina Faso by public health and animal professionals (veterinarians, medicals, pharmacists, nurses, biologists, sociologists, epidemiologists, economists, journalists, students, etc.) and non-professionals to enhance engagement and promote collaboration between relevant stakeholders and community engagement for rabies control. Interventions of the organization include public awareness raising (good practices in dog ownership, management of bite cases, etc.), trainings for frontline animal health and human health workers, dog vaccination, support for better access to postexposure prophylaxis in communities, advocacy and technical support to competent authorities (ministry of livestock, ministry of health, ministry of administration, national One Health platform) and other partners involved in the rabies control effort.
Impact in numbers
28 September 2020: Rabies Free Burkina Faso hosted a One Health workshop which trained 38 medical and veterinary professionals on One Health and integrated management of bite cases.
For the last years, Rabies Free Burkina Faso supported around 21 bite victims to secure postexposure prophylaxis for rabies prevention.
Continuous public education is conducted through national media (TV, Radio, newspapers) and social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
November 2021: Rabies Free Burkina Faso initiated the very first joint investigation on a goat rabies outbreak in Burkina Faso. Following the recommendations of this investigation, an awareness campaign and dog vaccination campaign (at least 100 dogs vaccinated) were organized in January 2022, in the affected community.
July 2022: With the support from FAO and United Against Rabies Forum, Rabies Free Burkina Faso hosted a webinar on the application of One Health for rabies control in Burkina Faso (over 200 professionals and students registered and 75 attended the training).
April 2022: 5 members of Rabies Free Burkina Faso were selected to attend the international training on rabies surveillance and control organized (Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire) by Pasteur Institute of Paris and their partners. Thus, the experience and the initiatives of Rabies Free Burkina Faso were shared with other young professionals from Central and West Africa.
Many members of the association showed strong willing to contribute in evidence based data through research, which is useful for informed policy making.
The most visible impact of the different initiatives conducted by Rabies Free Burkina Faso is related to advocacy and leaders’ engagement. Indeed, there is higher commitment in national and local authorities for rabies control, leading to the development of the National integrated Strategic plan targeting rabies elimination by 2030. To date, Rabies Free Burkina Faso have been admitted as member of the Zoonoses Working Group within the National One Health platform.
My personal experience with rabies
Rabies Free Burkina Faso is a concrete demonstration of a will to building from existing achievements in the field of the fight against rabies. To better inform decision-makers, precursors of the forthcoming association have devoted many years to study and generate situational research evidence on rabies epidemiology as well as on people knowledge and practices. Subsequently, during the national One Health zoonotic diseases prioritization (OH-ZDP) conducted in 2017, rabies was selected as part of the top five priority zoonotic diseases. Since rabies was recognized as a priority disease, we started thinking about mechanisms to address the gap of education. Finally, on September 20th, 2020, after the launch of United Against Rabies platform and appeals jointly pronounced by leaders of the three international public health institutions (World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Organisation for Animal Health), we decided to create an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to animal and human rabies elimination in Burkina Faso. This is how Rabies Free Burkina Faso was born on September 28th, 2020 in the framework of the celebration of the World Rabies Day.
1. Ministry of Livestock (CVO, Livestock Laboratory, Regional and local animal health officers)
2. Ministry of Health (Directorate of population health, NTDs program, health centers)
3. Ministry of Administration (municipality offices of Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso)
4. National One Health platform
5. Veterinary Order of Burkina Faso
*All information supplied by nominee. Content edited for language and formatting only.*