TNM drums up anti-rabies campaign through SMSs

Mission Rabies, a charitable organization working in the fight against rabies has commended Malawi’s integrated mobile and ICT services provider, TNM Plc, for taking a leading role in sensitizing Malawians of this year’s anti-rabies vaccination using SMSs.

Vaccination in progress

According to Dr Dagmar Mayer, Mission Rabies Malawi Country Manager the sensitization efforts are yielding great results, leading to an increase in number of dogs being vaccinated.

“We started this year’s vaccination campaign on a good note and we are impressed with the progress.Two weekends into the ten weekends campaign period, we have vaccinated a total of 16,000 dogs against the campaign’s overall projection of 35,000 dogs.

“Our goal is to get as many people as possible in Blantyre to come with their dogs to our vaccination clinics and get them vaccinated against rabies to protect their communities from this deadly disease,” said Mayer.

Mayer said that TNM through its broadcast SMShas amplified the rabies campaign’s awareness efforts in reaching out to targeted communities.

“The messages being sent by TNM are supporting all our other sensitization efforts immensely. When we ask dog owners on how they heard about the vaccination; a large number of people are mentioning the mobile phone SMSs. We are certain that some people would have not known about this potential lifesaving campaign without the messages,” said Mayer.

In his remarks, LimbaniNsapato TNM’s Public Relations and Sponsorship manager said TNM remains committed to causes that improve lives of Malawians and their environment.

“At TNM we are committed to create a safe dwelling place for the Malawian society. We are sponsoring this campaign with SMS messages to overcome the information gap between the caregivers and the people to improve their protection in multiple settings.

“We realise that young children are more vulnerable to dog bites, and by extension, rabies. Our support with this simple SMS technology in communication will help do good for society and ourchildren in Malawi,” said Nsapato.

Rabies is endemic and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in Malawi, between 400 and 500 people die of rabies every year. Around 40% of the victims are children under the age of 16.

Mission Rabies whose mission is to eliminate rabies by 2030 started working in Malawi in 2015.  The Mission has been working in three districts of the Southern Region; Blantyre, Chiradzulu and Zomba.

For the last four years the organization vaccinated 92,000 dogs against rabies in the three districts.

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