Evidences of declining rabies: a retrospective study of cumulative clinical data at Sokoine University Animal Hospital, Tanzania
Rabies remains one of the public health threats with annual deaths approximated to be up to 1500 in Tanzania and 59000 globally. Despite of its importance, there is a significant gap in surveillance especially for Canine rabies partly due to insufficient in reporting system. The aim of this study was to analyze pre-existing clinical data on Canine rabies for the past 21 years starting from 1995 to 2015 and investigate the dynamics of suspected and confirmed Canine rabies recorded during the studied period. The study discovered that over 91% of all rabies suspects registered at Animal Hospital and Pathology Laboratory, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) originated from Morogoro district partly because the Hospital and Laboratory are located within the district. The remaining cases came from Mvomero, Iringa, Kilosa, Kilombero, Mpwapwa and Gairo districts respectively in the decreasing order. Interestingly only 7.4% of the 87 confirmed rabid dogs had vaccination history against rabies. Furthermore, the study revealed gradual decrease in number of suspected and confirmed cases of rabies from early 2000s onwards. Finally, the higher number of rabid dogs with no vaccination history underscores the importance of vaccination in rabies control. The overall decreasing number of rabid dogs should serve as a motivation for continued concerted rabies control efforts towards total elimination.
Keywords: Canine, Rabies, Morogoro, Tanzania