GARC education courses mould young minds in the Philippines into rabies champions
Our school, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Cavite State University (CVMBS-CvSU), has been actively conducting, and participating in campaigns, mass vaccinations, information and education drives, and other activities on rabies for many years. In these efforts, we have been involving our students not only as part of their technical training, but also to make them aware of their social responsibilities as students and as veterinarians in the future.
The GARC on-line courses have helped train our students for extension work. The students serve as the bulk of our manpower for many activities particularly with rabies vaccination campaigns. The Rabies Educator Certificate (REC) and the Animal Handling and Vaccination Certificate (AVC) have been added as academic requirements for students taking coursework in animal welfare since 2015. This enabled us to tap our students who are not in the clinical years yet, to participate in our anti-rabies activities, not merely as assistants or observers, but as educators themselves
We recently added the Community Coordinator for Rabies Certificate (CCC) also as a requirement for the animal welfare course. Because our students come from many places, we thought that this will make them capable of initiating, organizing, and handling rabies activities in their own communities back home.
With these courses, they are able to answer questions from pet owners with confidence.
When the first semester of this academic year 2019-2020 began, REC and AVC were newly included as a major requirement for the subject, almost equivalent to written exams, and CCC as source of extra credit points. Our next plan is to give our pre-clinical students practical training in providing vaccinations to make them fully equipped as extensionists.
You can also become a certified graduate and a rabies educator in your community by taking GARC’s training courses.
Article contributed by: Alvin-William A. Alvarez (College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Cavite State University)