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Effect of counselling on health-care-seeking behaviours and rabies vaccination adherence after dog bites in Haiti, 2014–15: a retrospective follow-up survey
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  • Pubmed ID:
    28911750
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5639700
  • Description:
    Background

    Haiti has an integrated bite case management (IBCM) programme to counsel animal-bite victims on the risk of rabies and appropriate treatment, as well as the Haiti Animal Rabies Surveillance Program (HARSP) to examine the animals. We assessed the usefulness of the IBCM programme to promote best practices for rabies prophylaxis after exposure in a low-income rabies-endemic setting.

    Methods

    We did a retrospective follow-up survey of randomly selected bite victims who were counselled by Haiti's IBCM programme between May 15, 2014, and Sept 15, 2015. We classified participants by HARSP decisions of confirmed, probable, suspected, or non-rabies exposures. We compared health-care outcomes in people who sought medical care before IBCM counselling with those in people who sought care after counselling. We used decision trees to estimate the probability of actions taken in the health-care system, and thereby human deaths.

    Findings

    During the study period, 1478 dog bites were reported to HARSP for assessment. 37 (3%) were confirmed exposures, 76 (5%) probable exposures, 189 (13%) suspected exposures, and 1176 (80%) non-rabies exposures. 115 of these cases were followed up in the survey. IBCM counselling was associated with a 1.2 times increase in frequency of bite victims seeking medical care and of 2.4 times increase in vaccination uptake. We estimated that there would be four human rabies deaths among the 1478 people assessed by IBCM during the survey period, and 11 in the absence of this programme, which would equate to a 65% decrease in rabies deaths. Among three people dead at the time of the follow-up survey, one was deemed to be due to rabies after a probable rabies exposure.

    Interpretation

    Adherence to medical providers' recommendations might be improved through counselling provided by IBCM programmes.

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