Evaluation of a canine rabies vaccination campaign and characterization of owned-dog populations in the Philippines

L E Robinson, M E Miranda, N L Miranda, J E Childs
Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 1996, 27 (2): 250-6
A mass canine rabies vaccination campaign in Sorsogon Province, the Republic of the Philippines, was conducted in April and May 1993. From 1 to 14 days following visits by vaccination teams to 30 selected villages (barangays), survey teams revisited the barangays to assess vaccine coverage. Modified cluster survey methods were used to gather information about vaccine coverage in the owned-dog population (210 households) and about characteristics of owned-dogs and factors influencing owner willingness to participate in the campaign. Vaccinated dogs were identified by asking owners about receipt of certificates given by the vaccinating teams and examining each animal for a special collar or paint mark placed on the animal at the time of vaccination. Survey results indicated that 73% (178/243) of eligible dogs were vaccinated and 82% of vaccinated dogs were marked with a collar or paint. Dogs were owned by 69% of households and ranged in age from 3 days to 13 years (median = 1 year), and the ratio of male to females dogs was 1:1. The dog-to-human ratio was 1:3.8, with an average of 1.4 dogs per household or 2.1 dogs per dog-owning household. Most dogs were kept as guards (83%) and most were free-ranging (85%). The most common reasons dogs were not vaccinated included they could not be restrained (11/64), the owner was not home (10/64), and fear of injury resulting from vaccination (10/64). The owners of 20% of vaccinated dogs reported some adverse reaction in their pet. Improved vaccine coverage was significantly associated with restrained dogs kept primarily for guard functions by owners who received information about the vaccination campaign from multiple sources. Vaccine coverage was sufficiently high to potentially control rabies transmission among dogs through herd immunity and indicated a successful vaccine campaign.

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