Our new article on mobile phone-based surveillance in Tanzania is out!

Congratulations to Zac Mtema at Ifakara Health Institute and the entire team involved in this enormous effort! This project has been years in the making and the system is continually being improved, with new functionality, new websites, new frontline users and new results. The paper can be read in full here, and I wrote an article about the work for The Conversation.

This project won the Guardian University Award in the International Project Category. Joel Changalucha, Maganga Sambo and I celebrated at the ceremony in London. We'll be posting some more updates on research involving the surveillance system very soon.

 
 
 

Congratulations Kirstyn!

Congratulations Kirstyn!

Kirstyn Brunker passed her PhD Viva with flying colours! Many thanks to Samantha Lycett and Daniel Streicker for examining Kirstyn's thesis. No doubt lots of exciting science to come for Kirstyn, but first cake....


Brilliant baking @MaryRARyan and Darryl McLennan with an amazing post viva rabid dog cake #bakeyourstudyspecies

Brilliant baking @MaryRARyan and Darryl McLennan with an amazing post viva rabid dog cake #bakeyourstudyspecies

THE TIME IS NOW!

In December 2015, WHO, OIE and FAO organized a global conference to push forward the agenda for the global elimination of dog-mediated rabies. The meeting was opened by WHO Director General Margaret Chan, and brought together major players in the policy arena, potential donors and representatives from around the world who hope to take this forward in their respective countries or regions. It was fantastic to see so many amazing examples of progress being made in all parts of the world where rabies is still a problem. Many important lessons were highlighted too - elimination will not be easy - but many of the challenges have been overcome before for rabies in some parts of the world and for other diseases too. I gave (probably my most nervous) presentation on the impacts of rabies and benefits of prevention! The challenge has been very much set. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 is the target year for global elimination of rabies. The Global Alliance for Rabies Control has launched the End Rabies Now campaign, and the momentum has begun to roll. 

 
 

REDIPRA in Brasilia: policy and practice in the Americas

The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) hosts the Rabies Directors of the Americas biannual meeting which Claire Harris and I had the privilege to attend this year. We were put to work to deliver a pre-REDIPRA seminar on surveillance, which provided us with a fantastic opportunity to get to grips with the challenges the region is now facing: having been so successful in their rabies control efforts, there is now increasing pressure to stop vaccinating in areas which are now rabies free. But what if they are not free? And what if they are free, but their neighbours are not? And what about the few focal areas where rabies still persists? What are the obstacles that are hindering progress in these places? And how does their progress affect the region as a whole? These were the kinds of questions that we were asking and are now being asked of us - very exciting but also very daunting! Full details of the REDIPRA meeting can be found here.