5.6.1. How can we find out if the canine rabies control programme has been successful?

Any disease control programme should include a continued review process or evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the interventions that are being applied. The evaluation should ideally begin with the establishment of baseline data on the epidemiological, economic and social impact of the disease. This will help to identify gaps in knowledge and adapt the goals, objectives and methods or actions as required. For example, as the programme progresses over time, the measured changes in the epidemiological situation or changing attitudes in public awareness might require a reconsideration of the chosen rabies control measures and their prompt adaptation to the improving or stagnating situation. Defining impact indicators such as rabies prevalence, dog bite incidence, PEP courses delivered or dog vaccination coverage are useful for evaluating rabies control programmes. A selection of indicators are listed below.

Rabies surveillance plays a critical role in the monitoring of the programme and it is the key indicator for the success of any intervention. If not already in existence, a surveillance programme should be established (click here for more information or refer to the Rabies Surveillance Blueprint on how to establish an effective system). Decrease/absence of rabies requires verification and residual foci must be detected rapidly. There are a number of indicators described in this section that will help you determine the effectiveness of your programme. Note that these indicators relate to the dog vaccination component of the programme. Click here for guidelines on monitoring and evaluation of other components of dog population management programmes.

Click here for guidelines on evaluation of public awareness and communication plans.




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Version 4 - last updated May 2017