Farewell and thank you to Dr Sarah Jayme
It is always a difficult time when we have to say goodbye to someone within the organization, as we are sad to lose a member of our team, but are also happy and supportive of their choices to look for a fresh start and change. Dr Sarah Jayme has been an integral part of the GARC team for the last 7 years, but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. We would like to bid Sarah farewell and wish her all the best for her new journey ahead!
As a young field veterinarian, having worked on FMD elimination in the Philippines and the maintenance of FMD free countries or zones in South East Asia, it was always going to be a question of time before Dr. Sarah Jayme turned her attention to rabies elimination! Her arrival at GARC was as much accident as intent, as she joined a colleague’s visit to our office.
Following a career at the UN FAO and the Department of Agriculture (BAI) in the Philippines - where she coordinated international NGOs’ relief efforts, prepared technical briefs and program reviews (including rabies programs) - she chose to take the plunge and joined GARC as a Senior Veterinary Manger in February 2014. Based on her key role and expertise, she rapidly rose to become GARC’s Country representative for the Philippines, and then graduated to become the Asia Representative. In that capacity, her leadership and commitment to community-led interventions and participatory engagement ensured that the organization was a listening, engaged, caring partner across Asia.
During this period, she oversaw a number of significant research programs, including a study on the evaluation of Animal Bite Treatment Centers in the Philippines, and the implementation of the Community Against Rabies Exposure (CARE) Project. These projects comprised every critical aspect of rabies control and elimination, including mass dog vaccination, laboratory diagnosis, rabies surveillance, advocacy, communication, and education across multiple project sites in the Philippines – demonstrating her versatility and ability to coordinate large-scale programs. She led the way in drawing upon and developing programs for Barangay (Community) Health Workers to deliver rabies awareness and surveillance programs in their locality. This approach led to the development of an early warning and response One Heath surveillance system that is currently in place in Muntinlupa City, Philippines. The response capacity draws upon barangay health workers, veterinary staff, Animal Bite Treatment Center personnel and laboratory personnel, offering a practical solution to deliver integrated rabies control in resource constrained environments.
“Sarah’s unassuming manner underplays her significant achievements in protecting vulnerable communities.”
Sarah’s unassuming manner underplays her significant achievements in protecting vulnerable communities. Collaborations with the national and local education departments have resulted in the development of rabies training materials for teachers, school heads, and school health officials. This culminated in the integration of rabies education into the national school curriculum of the Philippines, reaching up to 24 million students, yearly. Her passion for protecting and educating the youth has further seen her develop programs for both pre-school children alongside those who have dropped out of formal education. She has also recently developed a storybook that is being turned into a video, ensuring that even during the challenging times of distance-learning, that children are able to learn about rabies prevention.
We would like to thank Sarah for her contributions towards GARC and helping to drive our mission forward. From everyone at GARC, we would like to wish Sarah all the best for the next stage of her career and hope that we will find a way to continue to collaborate together.