Even though Africa has the highest per capita death rate from rabies of any continent, and the disease is almost entirely transmitted by the bites of rabid dogs, there has been no coordinated pan-African approach to controlling canine rabies. In order to attain an inclusive and unified network, the Pan-African Rabies Control Network (PARACON) was established in 2014. By following the 'One Health' concept, which involves close coordination between animal and human health sectors across national, regional and continental levels, PARACON will provide a platform to facilitate and promote coordinated and sustainable control strategies and programmes. Meetings will take place at regular intervals and will be centred on the involvement by key focal persons from the medical and veterinary sectors. The inaugural meeting was held in South Africa in June, 2015 and was focused around interactive discussions and workshops, whilst updating country representatives on the tools available to aid them in developing and implementing sustainable rabies intervention strategies. Experts from various global organizations, institutions and industry participated in the discussions and shared their experience and expertise. The workshops focused on the latest format of the Rabies Blueprint platform (www.rabiesblueprint.com), which in the broadest sense assists with control and elimination campaigns, including educational and advocacy drives, improvement of surveillance and diagnosis and the systematic monitoring of progress. Together with the Stepwise Approach towards Rabies Elimination, the Blueprint is a planning tool to help countries free themselves from canine-transmitted rabies.
Keywords: Africa; Global Alliance for Rabies Control; One health; PARACON; Rabies elimination.
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