The project aims at campaigning for the acceptance of companion animal vaccination and its disease prevention aspects, thereby increasing the visibility of veterinary research in the One Medicine-One Health perspective. The possibility to accommodate these objectives in the STIAS long-term project Health in transition will be explored, focusing on rabies epidemiology. Apart from making an inventory of sub-Saharan national veterinary initiatives, their rabies control objectives and results obtained, a link will be forged with the novel African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN). It is about advancing standards of care and disease prevention across Africa through education, communication and networking. Co-ordination of rabies control, the expansion of training and educational programmes, and the funding of scientific veterinary projects in companion animals are focal points in case.
There are various rabies-related activities in place, like the Pan-African Rabies Control Network (PARACON); particularly, the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) does an outstanding field job. The present objective is to explore the African scene, to identify the research needs in academia (particularly at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, the University of Pretoria), to liaise with the key persons in science and health administration, and to address the conditions that govern the possibility for regional elimination – or even global eradication. After smallpox and rinderpest, which have both disappeared from this planet thanks to vaccination, and poliomyelitis and measles being under way, a fresh look at rabies by an unbiased outsider may be fruitful.