A UK-based Animal Welfare organization called Mission Rabies that seeks to stop cases of people dying of dog transmitted rabies has now opened up education and sensitization lessons to private schools.
Dr. Dagmar Mayer Malawi Country Manager confirmed in an email response that in addition to running mass rabies vaccination to communities in Blantyre, Zomba and Chiradzulu, Mission Rabies does conduct education and sensitization programs in primary schools.
“For three years the education teams have been teaching in primary schools and communities on the risks of rabies but for the first two years the focus was on public primary schools.
“This year we have included private schools into the program and it is exciting as it means saving more lives as well,” said Dr. Dagmar, who revealed that this year alone, the education teams have taught more than 140,000 children in public primary schools and more than 30,000 children in private schools.
Mission Rabies started working in Malawi in 2015 but later expanded to Zomba and Chiradzulu, and according to Dr. Dagmar Mission Rabies Education Officers would go to any school that opens their gates for them.
“There are no costs involved, otherwise all public, private and International primary schools in Blantyre are welcome.
“We also intend to reach out to secondary schools in these districts then expand national
level subject to funding,” said Dr. Dagmar, adding more than 740,000 primary school children have been reached to this year alone.
At Joyce Banda Foundation where Mission Rabies was this week, James Mulonga, the Head Teacher thanked Chikumbutso Nyirenda and Laureen Mbendera for carrying out their mission effectively.
“It is true that we can protect our children and many other people if well equipped with knowledge,” said Mulonga.
Dr. Dagmar said children under the age of 16 are at the highest risk to dog bites hence Mission rabies first targeted primary schools.