What is the total number of dogs in the target area/country?

- In some situations, for effective rabies control, at least 70% of the dog population need to be vaccinated, as shown in this study. This threshold could be higher in very dense populations or lower in areas where most dogs are restricted in their movements. Campaign efficacy needs to be established ideally by first comparing the number of vaccinations given to the original population estimates and then confirming coverage with post-vaccination surveys.

- Household and ecological surveys should be conducted before the campaign is started to provide more precise information for planning campaigns and to obtain information on the accessibility of dogs for vaccination, e.g. owned/unowned or restrained/non-restrained. Methods for these surveys are provided here.

- If this is not possible (outbreak, urgent situation), it should be understood that human:dog ratios usually fall within specific ranges, depending on culture and community type (e.g. rural, urban), and so rapid first-estimates of dog populations can usually be made. Click here to find information on these ratios from specific study areas.

- Once a vaccination campaign is underway, more detailed information should be collected through post-vaccination household and street surveys, as described here, that will also provide information in relation to dog vaccination coverage. These data will help improve subsequent campaigns and indicate whether supplementary vaccination is needed.

- You could use vaccination campaigns for “operational research” on dog population size and dog accessibility by marking vaccinated dogs with special collars or temporary colorants for re-observations in streets and in households.

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Version 4 - last updated May 2017