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Assessing vaccination coverage: humans and animals

In this article, Jakob Zinsstag presents a key example of the benefits of a closer cooperation between human and animal health.
© University of Basel

Read the following abstract from a study on joint delivery of human and animal health services by Schelling et al. 2007.

Vaccination services for people and livestock often fail to achieve sufficient coverage in Africa’s remote rural settings because of financial, logistic, and service delivery constraints. In Chad from 2000 through 2005, we demonstrated the feasibility of combining vaccination programs for nomadic pastoralists and their livestock. Sharing of transport logistics and equipment between physicians and veterinarians reduced total costs. Joint delivery of human and animal health services is adapted to and highly valued by hard-to-reach pastoralists.
In intervention zones, for the first time approximately 10% of nomadic children (>1–11 months of age) were fully immunised annually and more children and women were vaccinated per day during joint vaccination rounds than during vaccination of persons only and not their livestock (130 vs. 100, p<0.001). By optimising use of limited logistical and human resources, public health and veterinary services both become more effective, especially at the district level.

This study shows the feasibility of joint human and animal vaccination services for mobile pastoralists. But how can we assess the effectiveness of such interventions? In the following step, we discuss some of the challenges.


Schelling, E. et al. (2007). Human and Animal Vaccination Delivery to Remote Nomadic Families, Chad, in: Emerging Infectious Diseases 13(3), 373-379.

© University of Basel
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One Health: Connecting Humans, Animals and the Environment

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