In Colombia, rabies still poses many challenges, not only because of its emergence in urban dog populations and its impacts on livestock production, but also because of the important economic burden rabies prevention and control activities place on the national budget. In Bogotá, capital of the country, domestic dog and cat vaccination has been implemented free of charge by the District Secretary of Health with the support of health promoters (also known as environmental sanitation promoters), who in Colombia play an important role in enhancing public health activities. Health promoters are local people with technical education who work with hospitals to develop and reinforce communication channels between hospitals and local communities. Their duties include: to promote community participation in dog and cat vaccination campaigns, to support community surveillance networks in relation to rabies exposures, and to provide education on food hygiene and water use. In Bogotá, health promoters have enormously contributed to successful control and prevention of urban rabies in animals and people.
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