Education is key to saving people from rabies. Although rabies is the world’s deadliest disease, it is also completely preventable. That’s why our education teams in India and Malawi work so hard – to give communities, and especially children, the life-saving knowledge they need.
To date, we’ve educated over 3.4 million children, reached almost 84,000 teachers and sensitised just under 600,000 community members.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown, our teams have been forced to adapt quickly, but thanks to your support, they continue to fight for a rabies-free world.
Let’s see what our Mission Rabies Educations Teams have been up to this month…
LOCATION: GOA, INDIA
Right now, our team’s priority is surveillance to ensure we stop rabies re-emerging in lockdown. Our education officers have stepped in to support our surveillance teams, responding to suspected rabies cases across the state.
On top of that, our education team is doing all they can to ensure people are rabies aware – that they know who to call if they suspect rabid dog, how to avoid getting bitten and what to do if they do. Through speaking with government officials and key community members, as well as sharing guidance for the community through the news, social media sites and posters, the team are as busy as ever helping everyone feel safe.
WhatsApp is incredibly popular locally and has been instrumental in spreading our key messages in short, engaging and easy-to-share videos. All of which, stress the importance of reporting animal emergencies to our hotline.
Despite many people looking out for strays, human-dog conflict still occurs. As the world hotspot for rabies, a third of all human rabies cases are estimated to occur in India, 99% of which are caused by an infected dog bite. Every year, countless healthy dogs are inhumanely killed for fear of this deadly disease – and sadly, the lockdown has many people living in uncertainty.
The state government has recently seen an increase in complaints of people hurting dogs, following a dog bite incident on a beach. Our education team stepped in to intervene. Adhering to social distancing guidelines, a meeting was held with lifeguards and cleaners to give them simple tips to keep themselves safe and avoid any incidents in the future. As restrictions are eased, these individuals will play an important role in advising local and foreign beach-goers on how to stay safe around the dogs who live there.
As lockdown eases and people go out more, we need as many people as possible to be rabies-aware. It’s likely – due to stray dogs travelling further distances in search of food – that many adults and children will come across unfamiliar dogs in their neighbourhood and, in these instances, just being rabies-aware could save a life.
With you by our side and our teams working as hard as ever, we’ll be geared up again and at full strength very soon.
Your donation today can help us do so much more and create meaningful change in these communities – for both people and dogs.