A Study of Human Behavior and Rabies Spread in West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Michael P. Ward, Victoria Brookes, Muhammad Muharam Hidayat, Andri Jatikusumah, Ronello Abila

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Rabies was first reported from Borneo in 1974 (East Kalimantan) and West Kalimantan in 2005. Rabies re-emerged in West Kalimantan in 2014; by 2018 it had spread to all but one of the 14 districts. In 2017, rabies was reported from the previously rabies-free Malaysian state of Sarawak, which shares an 857 km land border with West Kalimantan. By the end of 2018, rabies had spread to all but one district of Sarawak. A field study was conducted to identify risk pathways for rabies spread within West Kalimantan, focusing on the IndonesianMalaysian border region, using interviews and focus-group discussions. There are estimated to be 200,000 dogs in West Kalimantan, mostly in rural areas where Christian populations and Dayak the Indigenous Dayak tribes predominant. Most (perhaps 90%) dogs are free-roaming and owned (not strays). Most households have 2-5 dogs, used for hunting, protecting homes and crops, as ‘special’ dogs (pets and dog guardians) and for consumption. Hunting (mainly pigs for home consumption) with packs of 5-15 dogs is a traditional activity necessary for food security. Dog movement pathways are diffuse, mainly local and human-mediated. Local movement throughout the region is common for hunting, guarding of crops, gifting of puppies and consumption. Drivers of particular interest include harvest festivals (Gawai); improved roads; and work and trade associated with palm oil plantations in border areas. Further investigation of the socio-cultural constraints to the rabies response, the role of palm oil plantations, and understanding dog population dynamics and demographics is needed. The known movements of dogs in this region offer an inadequate explanation of how rabies has rapidly spread through West Kalimantan and Sarawak during a period of only 5 years. Palm oil plantations and new highways might offer such an explanation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
EventThe Conference of International Society for Economics and Social Sciences of Animal Health - Southeast Asia: ISESSAH SEA 2019 - IPB University, Bogor, Indonesia
Duration: 17 Oct 201918 Oct 2019

Conference

ConferenceThe Conference of International Society for Economics and Social Sciences of Animal Health - Southeast Asia
CountryIndonesia
CityBogor
Period17/10/1918/10/19

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