Following 30 days of hard work, Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (LSPCA) has vaccinated 37,881 dogs against rabies during the just ended 2018 mass urban rabies vaccination campaign in Lilongwe.
This year's campaign which started on 5th October 2018 and ended on 8th November 2018, comprised of a team of least 40 people who had a target of vaccinating at least 1000 dogs each day
Rabies a viral infection of the nervous system is one of the deadly diseases killing over 60,000 people worldwide and claims an estimated 500 lives per year in Malawi. Children are most likely to become infected with rabies resulting from dog licks and bites as they often play and have closer contact with animals.
The 2018 rabies vaccination campaign with financial support from Welttierschutzgesellschaft – Germany, was led by Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (LSPCA), together with The Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Water Development through the department of Animal Health and Livestock Development, and The Lilongwe City Council. The campaign followed an agreement by World Health Organization (WHO), World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) and Global Alliance Rabies Control (GARC) to eliminate human deaths from canine rabies by 2030.
According to LSPCA’s rabies coordinator Mr. Edson Chiweta said this year’s mass rabies vaccination campaign was not only about vaccinating dogs, but educating people about dog bites and the spread of rabies. He further expressed that “using education posters many people especially children now understand what rabies is, and most importantly know how to prevent rabies.” Many people now understand the importance of vaccinating their dogs, and what to do when bitten by a dog, added Chiweta.
LSPCA thanks their partner organizations; Welttierschutzgesellschaft (WTG)-Germany, Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) for financial support and education materials respectively, and not forgetting all responsible pet owners who queued for long hours to vaccinate their cats and dogs – together we can bring an end to Rabies by 2030!