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An interdisciplinary approach to intersectoral surveillance: how can health and veterinary practitioners work together to guide rabies elimination?

An interdisciplinary approach to intersectoral surveillance
Integrated Bite Case Management (IBCM) is a One Health approach for intersectoral surveillance that is recommended as part of the global strategy to eliminate human deaths from dog-mediated rabies ‘Zero by 30’. IBCM involves risk assessments by health workers to identify high-risk bites, to trigger epidemiological investigations by veterinary officers for detection of rabies cases, and to formalize intersectoral communication channels to guide appropriate and coordinated prevention and control. IBCM is crucial to the rabies endgame when enhanced surveillance is needed to respond effectively to incursions and ultimately to verify and maintain freedom from disease.

The Philippines has made considerable progress towards rabies elimination. Mass dog vaccination is underway across much of the country, however incursions and outbreaks continue. Improved access to lifesaving human rabies vaccines has reduced mortality but proven expensive. More sustainable approaches to elimination are urgently needed. This studentship is part of a larger operational study of intersectoral surveillance in the Philippines aiming to accelerate achievement of rabies freedom and ensure sustainability of the national rabies control programme.

Using mixed methods, the student will examine the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of IBCM, collecting data on barriers and facilitators to deploying this approach as part of an embedded process evaluation. The student will conduct semi-ethnographic research working with local frontline veterinary and health workers and will co-produce guidelines for replication and scale-up of strengthened intersectoral surveillance.

The ultimate project aim is to generate transferrable lessons for best practice for One Health surveillance and specifically for rabies elimination. Further opportunities would include engagement with rabies technical support programmes in the region through the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and other international partners.

PhD position
University of Glasgow
United Kingdom
Closing date
January 23rd, 2019
Posted on
December 23rd, 2018 13:08
Last updated
December 23rd, 2018 13:08