Meeting the urgent need for rabies education in Haiti.
The highest rate of human rabies deaths reported in the Americas is in Haiti, and most of these deaths result from rabies virus infections that occur after individuals are bitten by infected dogs and do not receive rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. One barrier to rabies prevention in Haiti is a lack of knowledge about this disease among healthcare professionals and community members. During the past 4 years, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collaborated with public health officials and partners to develop, test and refine educational materials aimed at filling this need for rabies education. This report summarizes the use of feedback from knowledge, attitudes and practises surveys; key informant interviews; and focus groups to develop culturally appropriate rabies prevention materials for community members, health officials, clinicians, laboratory professionals, veterinary professionals, government officials and national and local district leaders about ways to prevent rabies. These formative research methods were critically important in ensuring that the materials would be culturally appropriate and would stand the greatest likelihood of motivating Haitians to protect themselves from rabies. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is using lessons learned in Haiti to develop and test materials in other countries with high rates of canine rabies.