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3.4 What personnel are needed for rabies surveillance?

Trained personnel are required for implementation of rabies surveillance operations. This includes staff responsible for data and sample collection, personnel in charge of gathering and analyzing the data and laboratory staff whose primary responsibility is to perform rabies diagnosis.

Clearly, staff may have different levels of knowledge, skills, experience and varying strengths and abilities. To ensure high standards of surveillance and data collection, appointing one or more persons to lead and supervise surveillance activities may be necessary. See section 5.1.3.1. of the fox rabies blueprint for more information on rabies surveillance personnel.

Staff of Responsible authorities (MoH, MoA, public health, veterinary and wildlife services) should be trained in:

  • need and importance of adequate rabies surveillance in their area of responsibility, risk-based sampling, data collection, epidemiological analysis and regular reporting to national and international institutions including neighboring countries
  • effective organization of sample collection, and chain of command

Rabies surveillance personnel for the human part (e.g. physicians, medical technical assistant, nurses, technicians) and for the animal part (e.g. veterinarians, veterinary officers, hunters, trappers, rangers and game wardens, wildlife biologists and technicians) should be trained in:

  • close communication with each other;
  • adequate rabies surveillance and risk-based sampling; basic collection of epidemiological data, such as animal rabies cases, and hunting and trapping statistics;
  • collection of animal diagnostic samples, packaging and submission to diagnostic laboratories for testing;
  • epidemiological investigation of wildlife rabies.

Staff of National Rabies Laboratory and/or epidemiological units should be trained in:

  • supervision of regional veterinary laboratories and field workers taking samples;
  • gathering essential epidemiological baseline/denominator data (e.g. vaccination coverage, animal rabies incidence);
  • database management, data analysis and interpretation to monitor progress of intervention;
  • reporting and dissemination of information to competent authorities;
  • epidemiological investigation of dog- and wildlife-mediated rabies/setbacks in dog and wildlife rabies elimination programs.

Technical staff in rabies diagnostic laboratories should be trained in:

  • general laboratory protocols and procedures;
  • maintenance/servicing of equipment (fridges/freezers, microscopes, etc.);
  • preparation/handling/storage of samples and reagents;
  • basic rabies diagnostic techniques (see sections 4.4.-4.6.).
  • proper interpretation of results and initiation of confirmatory testing if necessary (see sections 4.4.3. – 4.4.5.).
  • data recording, and reporting laboratory findings;
  • organising and participating in inter-laboratory comparison tests;
  • specific diagnostic tools associated with monitoring of measure in the frame of national rabies elimination programs, e.g. mass vaccination campaigns of dogs and oral vaccination of wildlife; for example, serological tests (dogs, wildlife) and detection of bait markers (wildlife).

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[en]Version 1 Last updated December 2014[fr]Première version, dernière mise à jour Juin 2015