Mission Rabies in collaboration with the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development (DAHLD) has embarked on an initiative to eliminate rabies in Blantyre by the end of this year.
Mission Rabies Country Manager in Malawi Dr Dagmar Mayer made the revelation during this year’s Mission Rabies campaign launch on Friday in Blantyre.
Mayer said as Mission Rabies they will make Blantyre a rabies free district by the end of this year.
“With the third year of our project (campaign) as Mission Rabies we are hoping that we can achieve eliminating rabies in Blantyre by the end of this year,” said Mayer.
She added that to make sure that Blantyre becomes a rabies free district they are going to vaccinate a lot of dogs in the city.
“We are vaccinating as many dogs as we can all over the city and we are asking people within the city of Blantyre to be bringing their dogs to static points on Sunday and Saturday because the only way to eliminate rabies is to vaccinate our dogs,” she said.
The Mission Rabies Country Manager in Malawi further stated that the vaccination is for free and their static point vaccination clinics will be set in different primary schools within the city of Blantyre.
Some of the areas that Mission Rabies will set their vaccination clinics are Mbayani, Michiru, Chilomoni, Nancholi, Misesa Nkolokoti, Soche, Limbe, Mapanga, Ndirande, Namiyango, Bangwe, Chigumula and Lunzu.
On his part, Director of Animal Health and Livestock Management in the Ministry of Agriculture Dr Bernard Chimera said Mission Rabies for the last 12 months has managed to eradicate rabies to zero in Blantyre.
He further stated that since the Mission Rabies team came in the country the government of Malawi has learnt a few things from the organisation.
Chimera added that as government they will borrow a leaf from Mission Rabies in their annual vaccination campaign so as to eliminate rabies in the country.
This year’s Mission Rabies 2017 campaign will start on 22nd of April up to 25th of May 2017 and it will emphasise on the importance of reporting suspected rabies cases.
Currently Mission Rabies is working in five countries across the world which are Malawi, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Tanzania and India.
In Malawi the project was launched in the year 2015 and since then the Mission Rabies team has managed to vaccinate over 35,000 dogs annually and thousands of people especially children have benefited from civic education on how to avoid dog bites and what they should do if they have been bitten by dogs.