Back Ground information

World Rabies Day was created to raise awareness and advocate for rabies elimination globally and is designed to unite all people, organizations, and stakeholders against rabies. World Rabies Day is held every year on September 28. This date was chosen as it is the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur – the first person to successfully create a vaccine against rabies.

This year’s World Rabies Day theme is: “Rabies: Facts, not Fear”. Why this theme? The global COVID-19 pandemic has raised many doubts and misconceptions about diseases, their spread and about vaccination in general.   Fears, misconceptions and misinformation about the rabies disease and its prevention dates back hundreds of years. For that reason, this year’s theme is focused on sharing facts about rabies, and not spreading fear about the disease by relying on misinformation and myths.

Last year, the County departments of Public health and Veterinary services, Vétérinaires sans Frontìeres Germany (VSFG) through Talek Veterinary services and Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS- CP3), teamed up with the County One Health Platform to organize a World Rabies Day Celebration in the County. The event was celebrated at Ilmotiok Chiefs’ Camp, Narok West Sub-County. Successes realized during the event included: publicity about rabies in churches, schools and shopping centers within the area, vaccination of more than 1,500 dogs and cats on the material day and more than 4,000 dogs and cats during the build-up activities and holding a chiefs’ baraza (public meeting) commemorating the day where rabies awareness was conducted.

WRDC Implementation Strategy for Narok County

As a strategy to building a champion region for rabies control, the partners: VSF Germany and KRCS have continued to support public awareness creation on one health interventions and vaccination of dogs and cats in Narok West and the neighboring Narok South and Transmara East Sub-Counties in Narok County. They have expressed an interest and commitment to support another Rabies Celebration Event in the County, this time targeting a bigger event than the previous one. This year’s target is to vaccinate 5,000 dogs and cats.

The Kenya Veterinary Association, Rift Valley Branch

The Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA) is a membership organization which is duly registered under the Societies Act, Cap 108 Laws of Kenya. Its mandate is to act as a watchdog for the veterinary profession to ensure proper management of veterinary issues that impact on the welfare of the veterinarians with an overall aim of enhancing animal health and welfare. The association is involved in all advocacy issues and leadership of the Animal Resource Industry. The KVA is made up of several regional and specialized branches with overall responsibility of positioning veterinarians as champions of the health and welfare of animals and humans as primary health caregivers.

The KVA Rift Valley Branch (KVA-RVB) whose theme is “safeguarding health, sustaining wealth” saw an opportunity to collaborate with partners in organizing this years’ WRDC which will involve four  main activities:

  1.  Saturday, 25th September 2021- Vaccination activities when the school-going children are at home.
  2. Sunday, 26th September 2021- Awareness creation exercise in churches in Ilmotiook ward in Narok West Sub-County. 20 churches targeted
  3. Monday, 27th September 2021- Awareness creation in schools in Ilmotiook ward in Narok West Sub-County. 15 Primary and 5 Secondary Schools targeted.
  4. Tuesday, 28th September 2021- Vaccination of dogs and cats at Ilmotiok Centre, Public baraza at the same venue.

As the KVA-RVB we have taken up the primary role of mobilizing partners and stakeholders with the aim of hosting the county/ regional event in Narok County. We thank our partners, County Government, National Government, VSF-G and KRCS for spearheading the preparations to the event. We appreciate the Action for Protection of Animals in Africa (APAA) steered by Dr Emily Mudoga and Dr Judy Kimaru for pledging to support us and Dr Mira Kelada from Canada for the moral support and direction. Dr Saitoti Ezra (VSF-G) and Mr. Hazael Biwott (KRCS) your support is immense.