Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Report from Liberia Animal Welfare Society on World Rabies Day Events

We were very pleased to receive this report from the Liberia Animal Welfare Society on their World Rabies Day Events. The Liberian Animal Welfare Society is a volunteer group that is making a huge contribution under difficult circumstances toward rabies reduction and awareness and education of children and families about safety around dogs in Liberia. We hope you enjoy reading this report and are impressed with these tremendous accomplishments...

Liberia Animal Welfare Society, (LAWS), World Rabies Day Celebration

September 28, 2010. Report Date: October 3, 2010

LAWS wants to be grateful to all the citizens of Vezala Town, Voinjama District and the local government officials of Lofa County for all their supports in making the celebration a successful once. LAWS wants to also extend especial thank and appreciation to the two schools in Vezala (Vezala Public School and Vezala Mission School) for their tireless effort and total involvement in the celebration.

Due to lack of resources to celebrate the day in the three cities: Voinjama, Kolahun and Foya as planned, LAWS was able to fully celebrate the day in Vezala, Voinjama. The celebration in the other two cities was done through a Talk-show with the local radio stations there.

In Vezala, 800 people including, children, women and men took take in the celebration. LAWS was able to vaccine 450 dogs and 50 cats against rabies. With the effort of LAWS` volunteers, LAWS was able to raise USD 400 locally from the volunteer’s contributions and other animal lovers. The fund was used to provide food for the audiences, posters with rabies messages and pay for the interview held with the radio stations. LAWS again wants to thank Veterinarians Without Borders, USA for their donation. The rabies vaccines used were donated by VWB,USA to LAWS.

The program started with a parade at 8:30AM at Vezala Public School toward the town hall.

The theme of this day celebration was `` Kick Rabies Out of Liberia``.

At the indoor program, the Regional Coordinator made a speech about the important of government including animal health in our health policy.

Below is the summary of the speech made by the Regional Coordinator of LAWS, Mr. Morris Darbo:
I thank all the audiences who are here today for the world rabies day celebration. Today is the first in the history of Liberia for world rabies day to be celebrated in the country. This event marks the beginning of creating real awareness about this neglected disease (rabies). As we read the theme: Kick rabies out of Liberia, it involves collective efforts from schools, community members, NGOs, the government, etc. The issue of rabies has been neglected in all levels of our society. We can only kick rabies out of Liberia, if we all consider rabies as a threat to the wellbeing of humans and our pets. We can not promote the health system of this country if we neglect the health of other living creatures (animals). We can only live in a health society if the welfare of every living creatures matter.

Today, there are lot zoonotic diseases which are common in our society. Our government needs to include animal health into our human health policy. Our pets are our relatives; they are part of our families. In some of our homes, we sleep in the same rooms with our pets. That is normal in our culture. So we need to protect them too. They need to be included in our health policy. Their welfare needs to also be prioritized by the communities, by the county and by our government. We can only reduce the spread of rabies in our communities if we regularly vaccinate our dogs and cats against rabies. We can not do this without the availability of veterinary facility with rabies vaccines. The government needs to put in place a veterinary facility that can do this. We need to include humane education in all our schools. If people are inform and aware of how to care for the animals, they will know the problems face by the animals.

In some communities where there is an outbreak of rabies, instead of vaccinating the dogs and cats against rabies, the local authorities usually order the killing of all the dogs. Killing all the in a community can not stop the spread of rabies. It can only cause an influx of dogs from surrounding areas to fill the void.

In 2008, there was an outbreak of rabies in Foya city and some people died as the of dog bite. The district authorities ordered that all dogs be killed. There was a group organized to kill any dog they see. The group went from house to house killing dogs. After three months, there was an influx of dogs from surrounding towns and villages. Today, Foya has lot of stray dogs again. At the beginning of this month, September, a 13 year old boy died from Foya as a result of dog bite. The act of killing dogs to control the spread of rabies is very common in all parts of the country. Still every year, people die from dog bite in the country. We can not eradicate rabies by killing all the dogs. We need to regularly vaccinate our dogs and cats against rabies. We also need to know how to control the spread of rabies.

As LAWS join other organizations around the world today to celebrate the world rabies day, Sept. 28, 2010. LAWS will continue every year to celebrate this day in different parts of the country to create real awareness and educate the public about this deadly neglected zoonotic disease (Rabies) that continues to take the lives of many people in this country.

I want to again say a big thanks to every one here today.

Morris Darbo, Regional Coordinator of LAWS

Dramas and Poems

Two dramas and two poems were performed at the program by students from the two schools. Below are the titles of the dramas and the poems:

1. Consider animals in development (Drama)

2. Treat our animals with respect (Drama)

3. My dog is my relative (Poem)

4. My dog and myself depend on one another (Poem)

The Voinjama District Commissioner made a remark at the program.

He thanked LAWS for organizing this meaningful and educative program in his area for the betterment of his people and their pets. He said that what he learnt at the program will not be for him alone and his people. He said that he will educate his colleagues districts commissioners and his boss (The Superintendent of the County) that the method of killing dogs to stop the spread of rabies should eliminated from all parts of the county. He promised that they in government and his people will continue to collectively work with LAWS in addressing the issue of rabies in the county and the country at large.

He also made a request to LAWS that since the government is unable now to provide rabies vaccines in the county, LAWS should please continue her effort in appealing to donors and other organizations to continue to help promote the welfare of the people and animals in Lofa County. He concluded by saying that his office is open to LAWS for any dialogue for the well being of his people and their animals.

Free Rabies Vaccination Campaign

At the end of the indoor program, LAWS volunteers started a free rabies vaccination campaign from house to house vaccinating dogs and cats. All the town people appreciated the work of LAWS. 450 dogs and 50 cats were vaccinated against rabies.

Rabies Day Photo Album

This report was compiled by:

Korpo Masan.
Assistant Coordinator for programs
Liberia Animal Welfare Society,
Voinjama City,
Lofa County,

1 comment:

  1. The rabies vaccines do not however need to be given "routinely" if you are referring to yearly or every 3 years. The US has serious problem with death, disease and disability in dogs and cats from too many rabies vaccines. This will ultimately set up chronic disease in the companion animal pets and dysregulate their immune systems and lead them capable of spreading disease to owners. Dr. Ron Schultz and Dr. Jean Dodd are advocates of getting all the animals rabies vaccinated but not over and over and over the same populations. In Dog Fancy Magazine in November 2007 issue there is quotes in there from Dr. Dodd and Schultz that when the science is done, as it is not yet accepted despite publicshed papers from 1957 and years following that only one or two rabies vaccines are necessary to confer a lifetime of immunity against the rabies virus.
    This is very true with the older rabies vaccines but what is happening with the unleashing of genetically engineered chimera rabies virus in vaccines both injectable and in oral baits is not so secure to the planet. The GE vaccines, are not tested safe for the environment and there are increasing cases of rabies "failure to inactivate the virus" in vaccines both human and animal if the genetically engineered technology is used. So, important to understand, what rabies vaccines are being used?
    They big corporations did not decide to experiment in Africa with these GE vaccines did they?Beware always free product from western countries for drugs and vaccines, they are notorious for using third world countires to experiment on and to perform their clinical trials on needed populations of animals and people.They have also "donated" problematic products as in the gifting of problem lots of vaccines that actually have lead to outbreaks of diseases.........distemper from faulty vaccines gifted.
    If the older vaccines of killed rabies is used, there is no need for over and over and over revaccination of same populations, if that is done, you will be making the vaccinated animals sick with autoimmune disease, cancer, allergies, asthma, atopy, anaphylaxis and all sorts of dysregulated immune systems.
    It is very important to control the population of animals so advocating for sterilization is important aspect and to get the animals vaccinated against rabies but not at time of anesthesia and not with genetically engineered vaccines! This is very important information to pass along to the agencies whom care about their communities health.