WSU's One Health approach is a two-for-one stop for health care in Tanzania

November 25, 2019

Promoting healthcare strategies that target both human and animal populations at the same time can save money, participant time and result in a two-for-one stop for health care services.

That's according to a new study by scientists at Washington State University's Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health.

The researchers treated roundworm infections in humans during their regular dog vaccinations campaign to eliminate rabies in 24 Tanzanian villages.

Their findings indicate the utility of integrating the treatment of humans and animals together, a concept known as One Health.

"We found there was no difference between the proportion of households that participated in the combined and stand-alone events," said Felix Lankester, clinical assistant professor and lead researcher on the project. "Suggesting that people we're not put off from attending a combined intervention where their children received treatment alongside their animals."

One Health delivery platforms like the one Global Animal Health researchers implemented in Tanzania could play an important role in the World Health Organization's global campaign to end the burden of neglected tropical diseases by 2030.

The WSU study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Award Program, was recently published in BMC Public Health.

Eight villages were provided clinics to treat roundworm, eight were provided clinics to vaccinate against rabies in dogs, and eight others were provided with integrated clinics to do both at the same time.

The integrated health clinics saw 91.5 percent of households per village receive roundworm treatment, while 82.5 percent of households attended clinics where roundworm treatments were provided alone.

For rabies vaccinations, the integrated health clinics saw 86.5 percent of households participate, compared to 90 percent of households when rabies vaccinations were offered alone.During focus group discussions with clinic attendees, 85 percent said the integrated clinics result in "two for one" health treatments.

In addition to reducing time for those who would have to travel to two health clinics, there were significant cost savings by combining the interventions for both diseases. The integrated health clinics cut transportation and advertising costs, lowering the cost of a deworming dose by an average of 12 cents and the cost of a rabies vaccination by an average of 66 cents.

By positioning the clinics outside of school grounds and offering treatment to the whole community rather than just children attending primary school, the study was also able to reach thousands of people, outside of the 7 to 13-year-old age range, who would have otherwise not been vaccinated by the United Republic of Tanzania's National Schools Deworming Programme.

"We need novel, cost-effective and complementary control strategies to try to tackle these neglected tropical diseases," Lankester said. "This study is important because it shows a One Health approach can reduce costs and reach more people."

Washington State University

Related Rabies Articles from Brightsurf:

Grassroots dog vaccinations can help stop rabies, but not alone
While scientists are trying to find a vaccine for COVID-19, the rabies virus continues to kill 59,000 people every year.

Rabies: New prophylactic and therapeutic avenues
Rabies is still responsible for approximately 60,000 human deaths per year mostly in Asia and Africa and affects especially underserved people.

WSU's One Health approach is a two-for-one stop for health care in Tanzania
Promoting healthcare strategies that target both human and animal populations at the same time can save money, participant time and result in a two-for-one stop for health care services.

Scientists make vampire bats 'glow' to simulate vaccine spread
University of Michigan scientists and their colleagues used glowing fluorescent gel to test the potential effectiveness of vaccines to control rabies and other diseases in wild bats.

Researchers develop a faster, stronger rabies vaccine
Every year, more than 59,000 people around the world die of rabies and there remains no cheap and easy vaccine regimen to prevent the disease in humans.

Scientists crack rabies virus weaponry
Researchers from Monash University and the University of Melbourne have found a way to stop the rabies virus shutting down the body's immune defence against it.

Dog rabies vaccination programs affect human exposure, prophylaxis use
The World Health Organization has made it a goal to eliminate human rabies deaths due to dog bites by the year 2030.

Public health experts urge people to seek prompt medical advice if they suspect rabies exposure
There is only a short window of opportunity to seek medical help before rabies becomes almost invariably fatal, but people wait an average of 10 days before seeking medical advice following exposure to potentially rabid animals overseas, according to new research being presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Netherlands (April 13-16).

Bid to beat rabies could benefit from oral dog vaccine, study finds
Vaccines hidden in dog food could help curb the spread of rabies in countries with large populations of stray dogs, research suggests.

Interventions in dog populations could reduce rabies in rural China
Domestic dogs play a key role in the transmission and expansion of rabies in rural areas of China, according to a study published Dec.

Read More: Rabies News and Rabies Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to