Rabies pre-exposure vaccination of occupationally high risk Individuals in Nigeria

Polycarp Dauda Madaki1, Collins Chimezie Udechukwu2, Joyce Amaje3* and Ruth Sabo Manzo4

1Department of Veterinary and Livestock Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Kaduna State
2Department of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
3Equitation Department, Nigerian Defence Academy, Afaka, Kaduna State
4Department of Public Health, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

*Corresponding author: joyceamaje12@gmail.com, doi.org/10.55639/607.787776


Rabies is a highly deadly viral disease that affects the central nervous system and is transmitted from animals to humans. This study focuses on assessing rabies vaccination status among occupationally exposed humans in Nigeria and identifies strategies to improve vaccination coverage and strengthen rabies prevention efforts in these vulnerable occupations. Nigeria, being the most populous country in Africa, is heavily burdened by rabies. Occupationally exposed persons, such as veterinarians, animal control personnel and handlers, are at risk rabies exposure due to regular interactions with potentially infected animals. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a self-structured questionnaire which was administered online using google form with 275 respondents. The study targets a variety of occupational groups at higher risk of exposure to rabies, collecting data on variables such as gender, age, occupation, vaccination history, vaccination source, health insurance coverage and willingness to receive free rabies vaccination. Results showed that 54.2 % of the respondents were administered with pre-exposure rabies vaccine. Age and occupation showed significant (p < 0.05) associations with the vaccination status. Assessment of the rabies vaccine status among occupationally exposed persons in Nigeria provides useful insights into the current rabies prevention situation and highlights areas for improvement. Finally, this research contributes to the creation of a safer working environment and to improving the results of public health in the country.