A regional expert network: PARACON

Regional expert networks provide a consolidated base and support system for various countries to discuss challenges and demonstrate progress towards rabies control and elimination, whilst also enabling collaboration to neutralise the transboundary nature of rabies. Networks not only encourage regional collaboration, but also promote inter-sectoral collaboration between national government sectors within each country. By providing a stronger evidence base and by uniting countries in the network structure, a stronger case can be made in each country for the prioritisation of rabies.

The Pan-African Rabies Control Network (PARACON) was formed in 2015 through the unification of two smaller sub-regional networks in Africa. In addition, other countries not associated to any network were welcomed into PARACON to form a united Pan-African network. PARACON promotes a One Health approach and has been involved in assisting the medical and veterinary sectors from each of the countries to work in unison against rabies - many for the first time. Additionally, meetings have moved away from the historical presentation format and have moved towards workshops with the active and full participation of each country delegate.

The workshops focus on developing and refining national strategies, developing future activities and providing actionable outcomes that can be achieved. Additionally, the network structure enables the sharing of information, data, challenges and lessons learnt from various countries, whilst also providing a solid foundation for a regional surveillance system, the PARACON epidemiological bulletin.

The PARACON bulletin collates vital data on rabies epidemiology and control efforts through which the progress of rabies control in the region can be assessed, and help to galvanize a regional effort towards rabies elimination.

More information about the PARACON network and bulletin can be found on the PARACON website and in the following reviews:

Scott, T.P. et al. 2015 "The Pan-African Rabies Control Network (PARACON): A unified approach to eliminating canine rabies in Africa."
Antiviral Research, Vol. 124, pp 93-100
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26545712

Scott et al. 2017 "Addressing the disconnect between the estimated, reported and true rabies data: the development of a regional African rabies bulletin."

PDF - 124.9 kb
Scott et al. 2017



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