Human Rabies incidences in selected areas of Tanzania: Implications for community awareness and training

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Institute of Continuing Education


This paper discusses the status of rabies and control strategies in Morogoro and Iringa regions in Tanzania. There has been an increasing number of reported cases of rabies in both humans and animals in the country. This study utilizes old and new data from the veterinary and medical records to examine the perpetuating factors for human rabies and also assesses the impact of the present control measures. From the records, the study has shown that a total of 9,150 people have been exposed to rabies suspect animals between 1986 and 1999 in Iringa and Morogoro regions. It was further observed that the incidence of rabies was higher in males, children between one and 12 years and young people with ages ranging between 21 and 39 years old. In most human victims, dogs were responsible for causing injuries (6,834 that is 96% of the cases) but other causes of rabies were monkeys 111(1.6%), cats 74 (IN), Man 57 (IN) and hyenas 18 (0.03). There was also a strong correlation (P<0.01) between canine, wildlife and human rabies. The findings of this study indicate that the situation of rabies in the study area and possibly in Tanzania is alarming and requires serious control strategies. Participation of local communities in rabies control may be a key to success. Early reporting of cases, participation in vaccination programmes and improvement of dog management to reduce the number of strays should be emphasised. Educational programmes should also be organized to sensitize communities On the gravity of the problems and to expose them to remedial measures. On the other hand the government has an important role to play through imposing and enforcing quarantines. The government should also set aside a budget for postexposure treatment of humans exposed to rabies.. Concerted collaborative efforts between livestock, wildlife and medical authorities are required in order to appropriately be able to control rabies in Tanzania.


Journal of Continuing Education and Extension, 2005; 2(1): 92-100


Rabies, Control strategies, Improved management, Community sensitization