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Guinea carries out its first large-scale dog vaccination campaign against rabies

By: United Against Rabies Forum


In August 2023, Guinea launched a 5-month mass vaccination campaign against rabies, focused on dogs. The campaign was led by the National Directorate of Veterinary Services (DNVS) with support from a range of partners including the World Bank, International Rabies Taskforce (IRT) and WOAH Vaccine Bank.

The vaccination campaign focused on 10 high risk prefectures. Highlighting the importance of data, the program started with IRT training of 10 DNVS ministry officials on the use of the Worldwide Veterinary Services (WVS) smartphone application for data collection. Those 10 officials went on to train an additional 100 people in use of the app including 84 vaccinators and 16 surveyors.

From August to December 2023, over 88,000 animals were vaccinated across the country, (>90% dogs). DNVS and IRT conducted weekly analysis of the vaccination data, which was used to direct vaccinators and vaccine allocations over the 5-month campaign.

While the total vaccination coverage rate achieved was slightly below the goal of 70%, this was a tremendous feat for Guinea’s first-ever large-scale dog vaccination campaign and highlights how cross-sector partnerships can expedite implementation and scale-up of rabies control programs. The DNVS team showed impressive initiative by reaching out to various partners for support with development, logistics, financial, and implementation of this project. Guinea’s DNVS was able to coordinate multiple partnerships, each providing specialized experience to implement this campaign:

  • World Bank purchased the vaccine and paid vaccinators through the REDISSE project
  • WOAH Vaccine Bank offered 100,000 doses of low-cost, high-quality animal vaccines
  • WHO supplied human rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for the vaccinators
  • FAO provided logistical and field support to USAID-funded vaccination teams
  • IRT (US CDC and Mission Rabies) provided training, campaign design, monitoring, and post-vaccination evaluations
  • The USAID-funded Breakthrough Action project and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) of Guinea carried out public rabies sensitization and awareness campaigns

This campaign demonstrates the ideal way for countries to engage with partners and utilize financial, vaccine, and technical assistance from the global community. Partners are already planning the next campaign, hoping to expand to nearly 200,000 dogs vaccinated and exceeding the 70% goal.