Launch of new rabies course at Asian rabies expert meeting
25 February 2015
Rabies experts across South East Asia gather today for a two-day regional workshop in Bangkok, Thailand to discuss plans to move towards the ASEAN goal of rabies elimination by 2020. This meeting also marks the launch of a free online course, the Rabies Educator Certificate (REC) Global Alliance for Rabies Control. The REC will help individuals such as community educators and health workers who would like to learn about rabies and teach others to prevent rabies and reduce deaths in their communities.
One of the basic challenges of preventing human and animal deaths due to rabies, particularly in endemic countries in Asia and Africa is the lack of awareness among individuals about the need to keep their animals vaccinated, and to get themselves vaccinated if they are exposed to the virus.
“The myths and ignorance that surround rabies are costing lives,” says GARC Executive Director, Professor Louis Nel. “The REC arms educators in at-risk communities with the facts to prevent rabies and provides credibility and strength to their message. As we increase our efforts to set up regional rabies prevention networks to support national governments, the REC is one of the tools that will be used to help them eliminate rabies deaths in their countries.”
The REC is universally applicable, with the choice of working online or offline at the participant’s own pace, and provides a certificate to successful participants on completion of a final assessment. Apart from providing the facts about rabies prevention, it also gives advice and guidance on how to conduct community awareness events, helping to increase the effectiveness of rabies prevention education. It is particularly valuable in areas where there are no government or NGO rabies awareness programs, enabling communities to protect themselves from this deadly disease.
Dr Wilfred Marissen of Crucell, the global vaccine company that supported the development of REC, added: “Prevention of disease is one of our main priorities. We believe that GARC’s Rabies Educator Certificate Program will raise the level of awareness in communities thereby contributing to the prevention of rabies deaths."
The course can be accessed at education.rabiesalliance.org.
Notes to editors
For further information about the Rabies Educator Certificate, regional rabies networks and other GARC programs, please email [email protected].
About the Global Alliance for Rabies Control
The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) is a leading non-profit organisation that works with governments, veterinary, public health and educational experts, and communities to eliminate rabies in areas hardest hit by the disease. It is currently establishing regional rabies networks in Asia and Africa to unify regional stakeholders, share knowledge and promote governmental support of rabies elimination programs.
GARC’s mission is to eliminate human deaths from rabies and relieve the burden of rabies in animal populations, especially dogs. For more information about rabies and GARC’s work, visit http://rabiesalliance.org.