Dedication to rabies elimination: A lot can be done with enthusiasm and a little support.
The sun was shining, and the day was a warm pleasant one in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was September 28, 2020 - World Rabies Day - and myself and my colleagues from the Voice of Animal Nepal team kickstarted our annual World Rabies Day event. We started the day off by sharing messages about rabies and its impact on communities in both English and Nepali. Our Facebook page was the ideal platform to reach a larger audience and, using some of the modifiable posters from the GARC website, we were able to share some important rabies awareness messages with our followers.
The GARC education and awareness resources were so useful for our campaign, especially as we were able to easily get all the resources from the GARC website. The World Rabies Day logo was particularly effective as we used this on our Anti Rabies Vaccination program banner, which was displayed at our project site while educating people and vaccinating animals, helping to draw interest from people walking by.
“GARC has equipped us with lots of information and resources on rabies and we are very grateful to them for this.” – Ishwari Thapa, Chairman, Voice of Animal Nepal
With the awareness messages reaching our communities, we moved on to the second part of the day. We organized our Anti Rabies Vaccination program at ward no. 2 and 3 of the Suryavinayak Municipality in the Bhaktapur District. We ran the vaccination program in two shifts, an early morning shift and an afternoon shift, as in our experience, street dogs can easily be caught in the early mornings and evenings, as they tend to hide in shady places to protect themselves from the heat of the sun during the day.
Our program started in Kaushaltar, Hanumante Bridge and moved throughout the municipality towards the new police office of Balkot. In total, we caught and vaccinated 120 street dogs – a great effort for a small team like ours working with limited resources. We know that vaccinating dogs is essential to eliminating rabies and therefore activities and events like this are the most important ones on our calendar.
Together, we can achieve rabies elimination. We need to collaborate and ensure that we work as a team across all sectors to achieve human rabies elimination by 2030. This is our common agenda and united we can make progress. The theme for World Rabies Day this year was “End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate”. Our event, vision and ethos support this message and we will continue our efforts to work towards rabies elimination in Nepal, with the support of organizations like GARC. We look forward to working with the resources and tools provided by GARC and believe more can be done in the future.
Check out the various education and awareness resources available from GARC, ranging from modifiable awareness posters with your own logo (available in multiple languages), to social media toolkits and certificate education courses.
Article contributed by: Ishwari Bahadur Thapa, Voice of Animal Nepal