Working group session.
In the framework of REMESA, representatives from five North African countries (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) attended a seminar dedicated to the communication on rabies held in Tunis. The participants represented various organisations involved in the fight against zoonoses, and especially rabies. In addition to the focal points of the Regional Communication Network in Animal Health (RECOMSA), several ministries were represented: the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Interior (in charge of the control service stray dogs) and the Ministry of Education, since children are the first victims of dog bites, and therefore rabies. Several representatives of the Pasteur Institute also participated in this event.
Opening session (from the left to the right: Dr Rachid Bouguedour, OIE Sub-Regional Representative for North Africa – Dr Malek Zrelli, CVO Tunisia – Dr Mohammed Bengoumi, FAO-Tunis).
After a review of the situation on rabies presented by French (ANSES) and Tunisian (DGSV) experts highlighting the epidemiological aspects but also economic, each country presented examples of communication campaigns on rabies developed at national level.
Students from the National School of Veterinary Medicine of Sidi Thabet (Tunisia) – who collaborated to the organisation of the seminar – shared with participants the actions they have undertaken on the subject (e.g. video posted on YouTube: an unvaccinated dog, men in danger).
Communication experts of the OIE, WHO and a communication agency and a sociologist trained about thirty participants to the basic principles in order they could implement an efficient campaign to fight against rabies and implement the global eradication strategy, particularly in the context of group works that were particularly lively and constructive and have contributed to improve the cohesion between the different actors involved in the control of rabies