Over 26,000 dogs vaccinated against rabies in Blantyre city

Mission Rabies, a project of Worldwide Veterinary Services (WVS) says it has vaccinated over 26,000 dogs and sterilized a total of 225 dogs and cats in Blantyre city during its tenth dog rabies mass campaign.

Scene of dog vaccination in Blantyre

The project coordinator for Blantyre, Mwanza and Neno Nelson Mundira disclosed this in an interview on the sidelines of the just ended mass dog rabies vaccination drive.

Mundira said the project initially targetted to vaccinate between 25, 000 and 35,000 dogs during this year’s campaign. Mundira said the post vaccination survey indicates that a total of 26, 861dogs were vaccinated against rabies, representing 86 percent of dogs in the city.

“Actually, the aim of all our campaign is to vaccinate at least 70 percent of the dog population to achieve herd community, which is necessary to eliminate the worms in dogs since 99 percent of all human rabies cases are caused by a bite from a rabid dog,” he said

According to him, the campaign have also managed to raise much-needed awareness of the dangers of rabies, how to avoid dog bites, what to do if bitten and encouraged the communities to bring animals forward for vaccinations and sterilization.

He said through mission rabies global projects, the organization has been tackling rabies at the source and saving lives.

Mundira further said that the free dog vaccination campaigns which started in 2015, have seen the number of human rabies cases being reduced.

” For example, in 2012 Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital recorded the highest incidences of rabies in children compared to any other institution in Africa, but now it’s one of the lowest,” he said

On the other hand, the World Veterinary Services( WVS) Director of Malawian mission Dr Dagmar Mayer, said the outreach campaign has also managed to sterilised a total number of 225 dogs and 2 cats.

Mayer, however, said out of the total number of dogs sterilised, 19 of them were found to have a Transmissible venereal tumours( TVT).

” Dogs get these when mating with other affected dogs. We have therefore, put them on Vincristine treatment until the tumours regress completely, ” she said

Rabies is 100 percent fatal once symptoms develop, but is 100 perfect preventable, according to various research studies.

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