Review on Dog Rabies Vaccination Coverage in Africa: A Question of Dog Accessibility or Cost Recovery?

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Rabies is one of the most fatal diseases in both humans and animals. A bite by a rabid dog is the main cause of human rabies in Africa. Parenteral mass dog vaccination is the most cost-effective tool to prevent rabies in humans. Our main objective was to review research articles on the parenteral dog rabies vaccination coverage in Africa. We aimed to review published research articles on percentage of dogs owned and percentage of dogs vaccinated against rabies, and on the relation between vaccination coverage and cost recovery.We followed the standard procedures of a systematic literature review resulting in a final review of 16 scientific articles. Our review results indicate that only a small percentage of African dogs is ownerless. Puppies younger than 3 months of age constitute a considerable proportion of the African dog population. There are considerably more male dogs than female dogs present within the dog population. The dog rabies parenteral vaccination coverage following a “free of charge” vaccination scheme (68%) is closer to World Health Organization recommended threshold coverage rate (70%) compared to the coverage rate achieved in “owner-charged” dog rabies vaccination schemes (18%). In conclusion, most dogs in Africa are owned and accessible for vaccination once the necessary financial arrangements have been made.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0003447
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • canine rabies
  • machakos district
  • bite injuries
  • rural africa
  • ecology
  • population
  • chad
  • elimination
  • ndjamena
  • campaign

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