Today, 28th September, is World Rabies Day. This day is celebrated annually in order to create awareness on rabies prevention and to mark the milestones covered in eliminating this fatal disease.
Share the message, Save a life
The theme for World Rabies Day 2018 is ‘share the message,save a life.’ This is giving us an opportunity to reflect on our past efforts in eradicating this deadly disease because clearly, the fight is not over.
There have been a lot of community trainings and awareness on rabies by health organisations such as World Health Organisation (WHO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Food and Agriculture Organization.
National Elimination Strategy
The kenyan Government launched a rabies elimination startegy in Makueni county in September 2014.
The strategy is aimed at eradicating rabies by 2030, through mass dog vaccinations countrywide.
Studies show that 2000 people die of rabies annually in Kenya, the reason the government is trying hard to defeat the deadly disease and reduce the number of deaths caused by rapid dogs
Rabies eradication pilot project in Makueni
We, World Animal Protection, have also not been left behind in creating awareness on rabies elimination. We have an ongoing pilot project in Makueni, where we have been educating the community and school children on Rabies eradication.
We have worked with local veterinarians, through the Makueni county government, who have helped greatly with administering vaccinations to dogs all over the county.
The community has been quite responsive, by bringing their dogs for vaccinations, whenever they hear of an upcoming vaccination activity; most of the population being the young children between the age of 5-15 years, whom we have constantly instilled knowledge on rabies elimination.
Bruno, a female dog, has been our model in illustrating to the Makueni community at large, how to give dogs the best care. She has been an annual recipient of the mass vaccinations offered at county level.
Recently, she donated her puppies to the neighbours, who World Animal Protection also trained on proper animal welfare. Her owner, Joseph Mutui, has become an example tho the community in terms of taking good care of a dog.
He has even become a volunteer with the community health organisations, where he shares his skills of taking care of pets, and helping in educating people on benefits of the ongoing mass dog vaccination.