‘Pass on the message’ - qualitative research to design sustainable community-based surveillance for rabies in northern Australia and Papua New Guinea

Victoria Brookes, Emma Kennedy, Phillipa Dhagapan, Michael Ward

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Given the proximity and recent spread of rabies in Indonesia, effective rabies surveillance in dogs is a priority in northern Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG). Reporting of potential cases requires community engagement; therefore, the value and acceptability of the system is critical to ensure sustainable surveillance. We used qualitative research methods – semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis– to identify factors that influence the acceptability and value of community-based rabies surveillance. Common themes included the importance of verbal communication and the high value of dogs to community members. However, lack of veterinary services in these regions was identified as a major barrier to reporting of clinical signs in dogs. The findings from this study will be used to design sustainable rabies surveillance in northern Australia and PNG by utilising traditional communication channels and existing, valued, animal-management services. The methods and findings of this study complement previous quantitative research to target surveillance to high-risk areas within these regions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance
Subtitle of host publicationBeyond animal health survelliance
PublisherNew Zealand Veterinary Association
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event3rd International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance - Novotel Rotorua Lakeside Hotel, Rotorua, New Zealand
Duration: 30 Apr 201704 May 2017
http://www.animalhealthsurveillance.org (Conference website)
http://www.animalhealthsurveillance.org/sites/default/files/domain-56/ICAHS3_programme_FINAL.pdf (conference program)


Conference3rd International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance
Abbreviated titleBeyond animal health surveillance
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
OtherAs with the previous conferences, ICAHS3 will focus on the interfaces between the science, policy and applications of health surveillance.
We intend to further emphasize integration of surveillance in the animal, human and environmental health domains. This requires input from multiple disciplines, including risk perception and communication, economics, quantitative analysis and modelling, information technology, and social sciences. Examples of topics include the growing concerns about antimicrobial resistance in human and animal populations; new diagnostic technologies, which are opening up exciting prospects for surveillance, whether it's in public health, animal health or the ecosystem domain; or the advent of 'big data', data mining and warehousing.
We aim to establish ICAHS as a recognised entity and a 'community' of professionals working in health surveillance. ICAHS has always aimed to be a small but high-quality and innovative conference which facilitates and encourages networking and exchange of ideas and experiences of like-minded health professionals. To this end, we hope to utilise current information and communication technologies and social media to facilitate discussion and collaborations before and after the conference itself.
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