In 2016, Ethiopia completed a Stepwise Approach towards Rabies Elimination (SARE) evaluation, a tool jointly developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) and World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).
These organizations developed the workplan component of the SARE in 2018, however, Ethiopia never had the opportunity to use these enhancements to the tool. In collaboration with FAO, the National One Health Steering Committee (NOHSC) organized a five-day workshop in Hawassa, Ethiopia, in August to conduct a SARE assessment.
This workshop aimed to conduct an assessment of and develop a multi-sectoral national work plan for stakeholders to support rabies control capacities, complete a cost estimate associated with the control and elimination of dog-mediated rabies using the Global Dog Rabies Elimination Pathway (GDREP) tool and strengthen data collection, management and analysis. Through this workshop, the organizations also discussed mobilizing resources and the financial sustainability of the National Workplan to ensure rabies control and elimination, advocating the national ownership of the National Workplan and improving monitoring, evaluation, surveillance and research on rabies prevention, control and elimination.
Experts from FAO gave presentations that helped the participants understand the tool and guide the assessment exercise. During the workshop, participants developed a new work plan to eliminate rabies in Ethiopia by 2030.
Eyasu Tigabu, Global One Health initiative (GOHi) program lead for food safety and zoonoses, represented GOHi at the workshop. GOHi’s participation in this workshop helped identify gaps regarding rabies disease control and elimination in Ethiopia. Tigabu highlighted GOHi’s rabies work through the GHSA project, and local and international partners recognized GOHi’s contribution to rabies surveillance case management, SOPs and the document developed through GHSA.