Empowering Communities Against Rabies

Post by

Jaigar O'Neill

on
December 9th 2020

It's time to hear about what our Yellow Army has been up to across the world's rabies hotspots.

Vaccinating Thousands of Dogs

In November alone, our team vaccinated 8,283 dogs against rabies across the state of Goa and brought this year's running total to 71,602 vaccinations. It's thanks to these interventions that Goa has gone from being one of the worst affected areas for rabies to having zero human rabies deaths reported for the last three years.

Gaining Insight to Save Lives

With greater insight, we can have a greater impact. 

That’s why our education teams run focus groups in the areas where we vaccinate dogs. It helps us better appreciate the community’s understanding of and attitudes towards rabies. We use this knowledge to improve our programs and save more lives. 

This year in Malawi, all the participants had stories to tell about people who’d died from rabies in their villages before we started our work. One primary school teacher told the heart-breaking story of a child who had died because his parents didn’t appreciate the seriousness of rabies. They simply didn’t understand that he needed to go to hospital for immediate treatment. 

But thankfully, since our interventions, these communities have seen no human rabies deaths. The participants even spoke of several community members who’d recently been bitten by dogs and all of them, including an 8-year-old and a 14-year-old, followed the first aid advice given to them in our life-saving lessons. 

We’re so proud to have empowered these communities with the knowledge they need to protect themselves from rabies. 

 

Delivering Life-saving Lessons to Children 

With schools open again in Malawi, our Education Officers have resumed delivering our rabies prevention lessons to children – the group most at risk of being infected by the deadly disease. In the last two months, we've visited 159 primary schools across southern Malawi and taught 124,295 students about rabies, dog bite prevention and lifesaving first aid – knowledge that could one day save their lives or that of a loved one.

 

Empowering Communities Against Rabies 

Mass canine vaccination will rid an area of rabies, but this takes time during which communities remain at risk – whilst we work to eliminate the disease for good, education helps us save lives.

With many community events cancelled and travel restricted in large parts of the world, it has been challenging for our education teams to reach adults this year. Despite this, we’ve pushed really hard to reach all manner of community groups with our key messages. We delivered education door to door in areas at risk of an outbreak and worked with local groups – both online and at meetings where people remain socially distant – to educate 250,000 people in rabies prevention this year.

 

Join the Global Fight 

Sign our pledge today and keep up to date with this global movement to end rabies for good. You'll hear directly from the people you're helping, get unique insight from our frontline teams in rabies hotspots, and find out how you can make this the Final Rabies Generation.