Saturday, October 4, 2014

World Rabies Day Celebration Report from Liberia


By Morris Darbo - Doggone Safe Liberia Coordintaor

The issue of rabies still remains a serious and neglected concern in Liberia, a country without easy accessibility to anti-human rabies vaccine or rabies vaccine for dogs. Very little is known about this neglected and deadly disease in Liberia. The people of Liberia keep dogs for several reasons- for hunting, securities, pets, and income. When there is an outbreak of rabies in any community, killing of dogs has been the common and only method used to eradicate the spread of the disease. Dogs are killed randomly and eaten by organized groups. LAWCS has done lot of education in discouraging people from eating dog meat and changes are taking place gradually.

Every year, the Liberia Animal Welfare & Conservation Society with support from Doggone Safe Canada organizes educational activities with school children and community members educating them about rabies and dog bite prevention.

In the heat of the currently serious health crisis Liberia is faced with in fighting another deadly disease, Ebola that continues to take the lives of many innocent people, LAWCS in partnership with Doggone Safe Canada conducted educational programs from September 1 to 30, 2014. These sessions educated children and their parents about rabies, dog bite prevention and responsible pet ownership. All of these activities were geared toward protecting children and their parents from dog bites, and improving the relationship between dogs and their owners. When people are educated about rabies, they can become prepared to address any outbreak without killing all the dogs in the communities. They will also start to care for their dogs and to improve the health and living conditions.

LAWCS` volunteers visited 35 communities with the world rabies day celebration program and educated 2653 parents and 3972 children. A total of 6,625 people were reached and inspired with the rabies and dog bite education activities.

We are grateful to the family of Doggone Safe, most especially Joan C. Orr for the financial support given to LAWCS which made the program a successful one.

Editor's Note:

Morris and the team at LAWCS in addition to rabies and dog bite prevention have been providing hand washing supplies and educating in the poorest communities about Ebola prevention. The area served by LAWCS is the hardest hit area by Ebola and there are many orphans. LAWCS is also trying to provide shoes, clothes and psychological support for the orphans. If you would like to help Morris and his team to provide life-saving supplies of buckets, soap and bleach and most importantly hope and education, please donate to Operation Handwash. Click here to donate - even $2 is a big help!




















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