The status of rabies in Ethiopia: A retrospective record review


  • Asefa Deressa
  • Abraham Ali
  • Mekoro Beyene
  • Bethelehem Newaye Selass
  • Eshetu Yimer
  • Kedir Hussen


Abstract Background: Rabies, a viral disease that affects all warm-blooded animals, is widespread in many regions of the world. Human rabies, transmitted by dogs is an important public health issue in Ethiopia. To-date, effective rabies control program still remains to be a reality and needs to be strengthened.. Objective: Reviewing of recorded data to generate information on the status of rabies in Ethiopia for the year 2001-2009. Methods: A retrospective data were used from the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute rabies case record book registered between 2001 and 2009. Results: The fatal human cases during the period of study were 386 humans with annual range of 35 to 58. The over all post exposure treatment for humans was 17,204 within and around Addis Ababa. During the same period, 20,414 suspected rabid animals were clinically examined; nevertheless, only 10%were positive for rabies. Among 3,460 animal brains investigated in the laboratory with FAT, 75% were confirmed as rabies positive. The production and distribution of anti-rabies vaccine reached 130,673 treatment doses for human vaccine and 85,055 doses for animal vaccine respectively in the period of 2001-2009. Conclusion: The recorded data showed the underestimate of rabies diagnosis, post exposure prophylaxis and fatal human cases, which could be attributed due to the absence of national rabies surveillance system. Therefore, It is of paramount importance to assess and map the national picture of rabies within a given time interval to launch a national rabies control strategy. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2010;24(2):127-132]




How to Cite

Deressa, A., Ali, A., Beyene, M., Selass, B. N., Yimer, E., & Hussen, K. (2016). The status of rabies in Ethiopia: A retrospective record review. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 24(2). Retrieved from