One of our Education Officers in Malawi, Chiku, met Melina, a 13 year-old girl at a school in Lunzu, Blantyre District last November.
Every day she walks to the local bore hole to collect water. On this particular day, three dogs were in her path. Melina was scared of them because she knew they could hurt her. She attempted to avoid them, but unfortunately got bitten. She wasn’t sure which one had bitten her but knew she had to act quickly.
She went home and told her mother about the Mission Rabies lesson that had been held at her school the previous week. Her mother took the issue incredibly seriously, so much so that she insisted on washing her wound for 45 minutes rather than the recommended 15 in order to be extra safe. She then took Melina to the Government veterinary lab and hospital, so she could get a certificate to start a free course of vaccinations as soon as possible.
Melina is now safe from rabies, but had it not been for the rabies lessons at her school, she could have become just one of the 100 children that die every day from this deadly disease.
The dogs disappeared soon after and they haven’t been seen in the area since. Melina does not know whether the dogs are healthy but she was extremely grateful that she knew what to do in order to stay safe.
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