Health Professionals Working Together to Control Rabies in Angola
Angola is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. This Portuguese-speaking country hosts 18.5 million people in 1,246,700 square kilometers.
The Angolan capital of Luanda (also its largest city) suffered a severe outbreak of rabies in the first three months of 2009. That outbreak was brought under control by the combined efforts of both public and private sectors. One positive outcome of this disease event has been the strengthening of “One Health” linkages between medical and veterinary professions.
On World Rabies Day, to be celebrated on 28 September 2011, the Angolan Medical Association (Ordem dos Médicos de Angola) and the Veterinary Association (Ordem dos Veterinários de Angola) will be hosting a joint seminar on the control of rabies in Angola.
Dr. Marisa Ventura da Silva, International Project Manager and Chief Technical Adviser of the FAO/EU Veterinary Service Strengthening (Reforco dos Serviços de Veterinária) Project in Angola, will be a guest speaker on the day. Previously, Dr. da Silva worked with the Angola Veterinary Services to develop a flip chart in Portuguese to raise awareness about rabies control among primary and secondary school students.
Rabies control activities in Angola provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of adopting a One Health approach that can contribute to strengthening the control of diseases emerging at the animal-ecosystem-human interface.