The vision of having a Rabies Free Kenya is currently underway, with the National Rabies Elimination Strategy officially launched in the second county in Kenya. Following Makueni’s footsteps, Siaya’s recent launch of the County and Sub-County Rabies Elimination Coordination Committees is a step in the right direction. This progressive step embraces the importance of collaborative efforts aimed at rabies elimination and signifies the importance of adopting One Health based strategies.
Prior to the launch, a dog ecology study was conducted to understand the epidemiology, ecology and population of dogs as well as the knowledge, attitudes and practices of both owners and non-owners of dogs. The survey composed of two parts as recommended by the World Health Organization. The first section was primarily on demographic information for both dog and non-dog owners. The second section touched on various topics such as dog management and care, household dog population, vaccination status of dogs and dog bite information.
Sample questionnaires will soon be available and will aid interested researchers to develop their studies in a manner that is both culturally and scientifically appropriate. These tools were adopted from the Canine Rabies Blue print which provides example tools utilized in KwaZulu-Natal where like Kenya, the domestic dog is the primary host and vector that maintains the rabies virus.
The data for the study is currently being critically analyzed and will aid in the development of Rabies related interventions in Siaya and other counties.