Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Building Momentum: Recap of the 2nd Eastern Africa Sub-Regional Network Meeting on Rabies Control


The 2nd Meeting of the Eastern Africa Sub-Regional Network for Rabies control brought together a diverse group of experts from the animal and human health sectors. Together, we discussed the pressing challenge of dog-mediated rabies and identified key findings and recommendations to achieve the global goal of eliminating human deaths from this disease by 2030. The importance of strengthening national strategic plans for rabies control and increasing investments and collaboration to secure sustainable financing for comprehensive rabies control programs was emphasized.
These plans should prioritize mass dog vaccination, surveillance, and data collection and reporting. The vital role of accurate and comprehensive data in effective rabies control was also highlighted. Countries were therefore encouraged to prioritize data collection, sharing, and reporting and to foster open data sharing among relevant sectors. The use of available resources and tools, such as the “United Against Rabies” toolbox, should be integrated into national programs to enhance data quality. Harmonization of data collection and reporting practices within countries and across regions will allow for a more coordinated and efficient response to rabies outbreaks and monitoring of progress toward the 2030 global target.

Building capacity for rabies surveillance was discussed as a crucial element, especially in countries with gaps in their surveillance systems. This includes establishing rabies laboratory infrastructure and testing capacity, conducting training for rabies diagnosis, and strengthening the overall lab system. Countries with limited capacity for data sharing should seek support and training to enhance their data-sharing capabilities. Collaborative efforts with ministries and relevant organizations are crucial to ensure official reporting of data. Access to testing materials was also highlighted as being vital for timely and accurate diagnosis. We strongly urge governments, organizations, and individuals to join us in this effort. Together, we can make a difference and eliminate dog-mediated rabies by 2030. The Members are committed to working towards a future where human deaths from rabies are a thing of the past.

Dr Samuel Wakhusama, giving his remarks during the official opening of the meeting. Picture (c) L. Iyadi (woah) 2023.

The Global Strategy to eliminate human deaths from dog-mediated Rabies by the year 2030 remains a top priority worldwide. This initiative offers a unique opportunity to operationalise the One Health concept at global, regional, and national levels, thereby strengthening health systems, particularly in low-income countries. Rabies is a key neglected endemic zoonosis targeted for implementation under the Quadripartite’s (FAO, WHO, UNEP, and WOAH) One Health Joint Plan of Action (OH JPA).

In line with the Global Strategic Plan to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030 (Zero by 30) and the recommendations of the Regional Coordination Group of the Quadripartite partners in Africa, many countries are working to develop and implement national strategic plans for the control and elimination of rabies, with significant support from UAR partners.



Workshop Objectives

The workshop aimed to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Promote the UAR Rabies Roadmap and encourage participants to undertake in-country Stepwise Approach towards Rabies Elimination (SARE) assessment/reassessments to measure progress towards rabies elimination.
  2. Introduce participants to the UAR tools and resources that could be used in support of their rabies elimination efforts.
  3. Promote improved rabies surveillance through the collection, sharing, and reporting of rabies minimum data elements.
  4. Promote national collaborations between human and animal health sectors in rabies surveillance and reporting.
  5. Sensitise countries on dog population estimates and responsible dog ownership.
Workshop programme
Workshop Agenda 
Day 1: Tuesday 10 October 2023 
Time  Title  Speaker 
8.00 – 9.00  Registration  Ms Grace Omwega, Ms Lyne Iyadi 
Session 1: Introduction and workshop objectives  
9:00 – 9:30  Participant introductions and Workshop expectations   Dr Lillian Wambua (WOAH) 
9.30 – 10.00  Speeches: Opening remarks  Representatives: Government of Ethiopia, GARC, Africa CDC, ILRI, FAO, WHO, WOAH 
10.00-10.15  Presentation: Introduction and aims of the meeting  Dr Samuel Wakhusama (WOAH) 
10:15 – 10:30  Presentation: Lessons learnt from global Rabies networks  Andre Coetzer (GARC) 
Session 2: Developing and progressing national control programmes for dog-mediated rabies) 
Session chair : Claude Sabeta (WOAH Expert)                            Rapporteurs: Lillian Wambua, Serge Mpouam (WOAH) 
10:30 – 10:45  United Against Rabies Forum Roadmap and SARE  Dr Andre Coetzer (GARC) 
10:45 – 11:00  Experience of conducting SARE workshop in Ethiopia  Veterinary Services (Ethiopia) 
11.00-11.30  Coffee break, photo session, interviews  Lyne Iyadi (WOAH) 
11.30-11.45  Presentation: Overview of National Strategic Plan and international milestones  Dr Rachel Tidman (WOAH) 
11:45 – 12:30  Country presentations: Rabies national strategic plans:  

(3 mins presentation per country) 

Delegates/Rabies Contact persons (Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda) 
12:30 – 12:40  Question of the day: Mobilizing sustainable financing for Rabies NSPs  Dr Serge Mpouam (WOAH) 
12: 40 – 13:45:   Lunch Break and interviews  Lyne Iyadi (WOAH) 
13:45 – 14:45  Group work with case study (FR and EN): Development, implementation and endorsement of national strategic plans  Dr Rachel Tidman (WOAH) 
14:45 – 15:45  World Café Interactive poster session: National Strategic plans for Rabies  Session Chair  
15:45 – 16:00   Coffee break 
16.00 – 17.00  Plenary: Role of the East Africa Rabies network in implementation of National Strategic plans?  Drs Lillian Wambua and Serge Mpouam (WOAH) 


Day 2: Wednesday 11 October 2023 
Time  Title  Facilitators/Speaker 
Session 3: Improving rabies data collection and reporting 
Session chair(s): Drs Andre Coetzer and Frédéric Lohr                 Rapporteurs: Desmond Rono, Serge Mpouam (WOAH)   
8.30 – 8.45  Recap of Day 1  National participants (FR) 
8:45 – 8:55  Question of the day: Increasing efficiency of Rabies surveillance and data-sharing  Dr Tenzin Tenzin (WOAH) 
8:55 – 9.15  Presentation: United Against Rabies Minimum Data Elements  Dr  Frédéric Lohr (Mission Rabies, UK) 
9:15 – 9:30  Presentation: WHO Rabies Surveillance    WHO 
9:30 – 9.45  Presentation: Surveillance & Reporting of Rabies data  Dr Rachel Tidman (WOAH) 
9.45 – 10.00  Presentation: Event-based surveillance framework: Application to Rabies surveillance   Dr Maryam Buba (Africa CDC) 
10:00 – 10:30  Plenary: Q & A session  Dr Andre Coetzer (GARC) 
10.30 – 11.00  Coffee break and Interviews  Lyne Iyadi (WOAH) 
11:00 – 11.15  Presentation: Country experience of Namibia in Rabies Surveillance   Dr Tenzin Tenzin (WOAH) 
11:15 – 11:30  Presentation: Country experience of Tanzania in Rabies Surveillance   Dr Samwel Mngumi (Tanzania) 
11.30-12.30  Moderated discussion: Strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats of One Health approach in Rabies data collection, sharing and reporting  Drs Lillian Wambua & Serge Mpouam (WOAH)  
12.30 – 13.30   



13:30 – 15:00  Group work with case study (FR and EN): Using paper-based and electronic data capture mechanisms to support dog vaccination campaigns  Dr Andre Coetzer (GARC), Dr Frédéric Lohr (Mission Rabies) 
15.00 – 15.30  Coffee break 


15.30 – 16.30  Plenary discussion: How can this network support countries in improving data collection, sharing and reporting?  Desmond Rono and Dr Serge Mpouam (WOAH) 
18:00 – 20:00   Social event/dinner 


Day 3: Thursday 12 October 2023 
Time  Title  Facilitators/Speaker 
Session 4: Support from Laboratory Networks in progressing rabies control programmes 
Session Chairs: Prof Claude Sabeta and Dr Samuel Wakhusama                      Rapporteurs: Dr Tenzin Tenzin, Desmond Rono 
8.30-8.45  Recap Day 2  National participants (EN) 
8:45 – 8:55  Question of the Day: What are the key gaps and opportunities for Rabies research in national and regional level?  Serge Mpouam (WOAH) 
8:55 – 9.15  Presentation: Overview of RABLAB and available support for countries  Prof Claude Sabeta (WOAH expert) 
9.15 – 9.30  Presentation: Laboratory proficiency testing for Rabies diagnosis  Mr Chenjerai Njagu (FAO -ECTAD Ethiopia)  
9.30-9.45  Presentation: Country experience from Eritrea on improving laboratory training/capacity  Dr Yonas Woldu (Eritrea)  
9.45-10.45  Moderated discussion: Strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats of Rabies laboratory diagnostic capacity  Prof Claude Sabeta (WOAH expert) 
10.45 – 11.15  Coffee 


Session 5: Sub-regional coordination and operationalizing the East Africa rabies network 
Session Chairs: Prof Claude Sabeta and Dr Samuel Wakhusama                      Rapporteurs: Dr Tenzin Tenzin, Desmond Rono 
11.00 – 11.15  Presentation: One Health Research Centre Africa (OHRECA) and NTDs research   Dr Lian Thomas (ILRI) 
11.15 – 11.30  Presentation: Economic considerations of the One Health approach in national Rabies programmes   Dr Maurice Karani (ILRI) 


11:30 – 11:45   Presentation: Tracking the Rabies virus in Africa: Trends from genomics surveillance  



Dr Claude Sabeta (WOAH expert) 



11:45 – 12:00  A century of Rabies in Kenya  


Dr Matthew Muturi (Kenya) 


12.00 – 13:00  Moderated discussion: Harnessing research and community engagement and integrating Rabies control into national disease control programmes  Dr Serge Mpouam (WOAH) 
12.30 – 13.30  Lunch 


13.30 – 15:00  Group Work (FR and EN):  

  • Develop Terms of Reference for the East Africa network over the next 12 months 
Dr Lillian Wambua and Desmond Rono (WOAH) 
  • How will this sub-regional network operationalized?  
  • How will the performance of this sub-regional network be monitored?  
  • Who will take the lead of the network over the next 12 months? 
  Plenary: What are clear action items for this network over the next 12 months?  
15.00 – 15:15  Closing of meeting  Dr Samuel Wakhusama (WOAH) 


Presentations - Day 1

01. Coetzer
01. Coetzer

PDF - 964.18KB

02. Tenzin
02. Tenzin

PDF - 4.28MB

04. Tidman
04. Tidman

PDF - 1.39MB

05. Ethiopia
05. Ethiopia

PDF - 2.97MB

Presentations - Day 2

06. Lohr
06. Lohr

PDF - 2.03MB

07. Tidman
07. Tidman

PDF - 1.21MB

08. Buba
08. Buba

PDF - 3.76MB

09. Tenzin
09. Tenzin

PDF - 3.76MB

10. Tanzania
10. Tanzania

PDF - 547.65KB

11. Tidman
11. Tidman

PDF - 2.39MB

Presentations - Day 3

12. Sabeta
12. Sabeta

PDF - 1.32MB

13. Njagu
13. Njagu

PDF - 1.17MB

14. Woldu
14. Woldu

PDF - 1.04MB

15. Thomas
15. Thomas

PDF - 1.68MB

16. Sabeta
16. Sabeta

PDF - 770.65KB

17. Muturi
17. Muturi

PDF - 1.11MB

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