Around the world yesterday, our teams organised awareness events, educational workshops and vaccination drives to mark World Rabies Day!! Here's a summary of everything they got up to on the big day!!
A educational rally was the highlight of the day's activities in Goa, organised by our Director of Education in India, Dr Murugan which also involved key stakeholders from the municipality and government. 400 children from 10 schools in and around Sanguem and 200 Self Help Group women from various villages participated in the rally. An awareness event was organized and our teams stressed the need for the community to understand the importance of getting their dogs vaccinated during Mission Rabies free vaccination drive and to help to make Goa rabies-free. We would also like to thank the Government of Goa and the department of Animal Husbandry for their great support and participation.
Our sister charity WVS were also involved with Nicky Cook, International Education Manager, congratulating the students for their enthusiasm during the rally. During the event, it was also a good opportunity for our officers to reiterate the importance of washing dog bite wounds with water and soap and basic dog bite first aid procedures. Our Goa Project Manager Julie ended the celebrations with clear indications of how continuous vaccination of dogs and education among students and communities can eliminate rabies from Goa!!
Our team in Ooty also spent the day teaching children about the dangers of rabies and how to protect themselves from this deadly disease, visiting local schools and joining in this global effort.
Mission Rabies Malawi marked the 12th World Rabies Day with poetry, songs and canine vaccinations. In Blantyre, our Education Officer Chiku coordinated activities with a primary school in a rural part of the district. Prior to the event, the primary school had received a Mission Rabies’ education lesson and eight students were later selected by the school’s head teacher to be the faces of the World Rabies Day ceremony and to create rabies-focused performances. The activities started with an original song created by the students and sung in the local language, Chichewa. It focuses on the importance of sharing the message about the dangers of this disease and the need for vaccination and was a creative and engaging way to present the message!
This was followed by an informative speech written by a female student who reiterated Mission Rabies’ key lesson points, including how the disease is transmitted, the need for immediate treatment for dog bites, how to tend to a dog bite wound and the need for prevention of the disease through annual canine vaccinations. Poems and a drama closed the event. Creative outlets delivered by trusted peers of the school’s body allowed for the life-saving information to be reinforced and presented in a relatable and memorable manner and World Rabies Day was the perfect opportunity to showcase how this work can be shared!
Around Chiradzulu and Blantyre Districts, vaccination efforts were in full swing. Dogs across the districts received their annual dosage of Nobivac Rabies vaccine. Group Village Headman Dikila thanked Mission Rabies for the life-saving lessons and the free dog vaccinations that have helped his community. This combination of vaccination and education efforts is essential to win the fight against rabies!!
Back at MR HQ, the team were busy keeping track of their 30-day campaign that culminated on World Rabies Day with supporters from all over the world donating to support this cause. 5 awesome supporters from the UK also took part in a skydive, falling through the air at 120mph in the name of fighting rabies!! This adrenaline fuelled challenge really showed a more adventurous way of spreading the message! If you would like to donate to support Mission Rabies for World Rabies Day, our campaign page is remaining open until 28th October! Click here to get involved!
In other news, it was also the day that The Lancet reported a reduction in human rabies deaths in Malawi, thanks to our work. We pride ourselves on our research and that our projects are backed up by scientific data and this article just shows how canine vaccination is having a real impact in Malawi and further afield!! Make sure you have a read here if you haven't already done so!