Spatial sampling for a rabies vaccination schedule in rural villages

25 May 2021

Efforts are being made to contain rabies in Tanzania, reported in the southern highland regions, since 1954, and endemic in all districts in Tanzania currently. It has been determined that mass vaccination of at least 70% of a domestic animal population is most effective in reducing transmission of rabies. Current vaccination campaigns in Tanzanian villages have many administrative and logistical challenges. Animals roam freely, making a full population vaccination impossible. Spatial sampling of households in villages is proposed, where optimality is measured through the distance traversed by the vaccinator by foot for vaccinating at each sampled household. The walking distance is attained by incorporating a driving network between optimally determined stopping points from which the vaccinator then walks for executing vaccinations, while ensuring the 70% coverage of the animal population. We illustrate the sampling schemes on a real dataset using simulations. A systematic regular spatial sampling is found to be optimal. The vaccination scheme proposed, provides an effective way to manage a vaccination campaign.