The revised REC: more knowledge means more power!

Improving awareness and education about rabies and responsible dog ownership within at-risk communities is vital if rabies is to be eliminated. Increased public awareness with regards to rabies and its prevention has multiple benefits and can result in improved animal welfare, increased health seeking behavior, decreased bite cases, and increased dog vaccination coverage. Despite the clear benefit associated with increased public awareness, generalized global education initiatives are often not comprehensive enough. Because of this, people’s understanding of rabies often remains limited, and they still lack key knowledge about rabies and its prevention.

Dog vaccination coverage explanation learning aid by GARC
A dog vaccination coverage learning aid - one of many learning aids available on the revised REC.

Therefore, GARC developed – and now completely revised – the Rabies Educator Certificate (REC) course so that graduates have access to the most relevant and correct information about rabies, how it is caused, and how it can be prevented and even eliminated. All of this is made easier with quick learning aids that you can download and use to help save lives. In addition, graduates will also become proficient in effectively communicating the life-saving information with community members and peers – ensuring that the vital information is disseminated.

To do this, the REC coursework covers the following details in detail:

  • What is rabies, and how do people and animals get the disease?
  • How to avoid dog bites and prevent rabies.
  • Caring for dogs to prevent rabies.
  • The role of a certified rabies educator in the community.
  • Communicating life-saving information with people

"The revised REC is chock full of new learning aids that you can use and download for quick reference.” 

GARC Education Platform (GEP) reach 2023 infographic

For those who are not certified rabies educators, why wait?! You can go to the GARC Education Platform and join the global network of certified rabies educators – of which there are currently more than 12,300 graduates across 140 countries around the world! Even better, you can also encourage your friend, family, and peers to do the same so that everyone can play a part in rabies education.

Considering the vast number of people living in rabies-endemic countries, you might wonder how the life-saving information that you share can make an impact. But what if each person that you educated goes on to tell two more people what they have learned from you? And those people educate two more people each? Soon, the knowledge you shared during a single interaction has potentially reached 1000’s of people. In fact, our latest figures show that more than 17 million people have been reached with information on rabies and responsible dog ownership through the REC course since 2015.

If you have not done so already, now is the ideal time to learn more about the course and then become a certified rabies educator yourself. Becoming a certified rabies educator to play your part in eliminating rabies! 

Article contributed by: Dr Andre Coetzer (GARC)