Description of your work
Our work involves periodic mass vaccination of dogs against rabies in communities of Kabwe District. The emphasis is hard-to-reach rural farming communities which lie in the peripheries of the district. We reach out to communities through Ward Development Committees, under Kabwe Municipal Council, announcements on community radio stations and people going round communities announcing our activities and dates that we will be there to vaccinate. On the day of vaccination, we first hold an animal welfare session where we discuss the importance of being a responsible dog/cat owner, providing shelter, food and love to their pets, dangers of rabies and how it is acquired and how to end it. We then vaccinate and issue out vaccination certificates.
Impact in numbers
We started the mass vaccination exercise in 2021 and vaccinated 1,970 dogs belonging to about 1,500 households. This year (2022) we have a target to vaccinate 3000 dogs and have already vaccinated slightly above 1,000 dogs from about 700 - 800 households. We intend to be through with this year's vaccination campaign early August.
Impact (description) Due to the interventions that we are putting in place, we have:
1. Reduced the incidence of dog bites
2. Fewer bites reports we are receiving at our District Veterinary Office are coming from vaccinated dogs with valid vaccination status.
3. The number of doses of Post Exposure Prophylaxis issued out has markedly reduced. A full rabies PEP no costs US$ 91.40 in Kabwe District. This is in communities where people live on less than a dollar per day.
4. Isuzu Zambia trading as Action Auto, Zambia Ltd, has supported our work very much through its Corporate Social Responsibility.
5. Kabwe Municipal Council and community radio and TV stations and the National TV station (Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation) has supported regarding publicity of our activities.
My personal experience with rabies
I had been working on rabies all my professional life, but the impetus markedly improved after an apparent rabid dog bit a small girl and her brother in a rural district adjacent to Kabwe (Kapiri Mposhi District). After I got a phone call about the same from the resident veterinary assistant, I called the District Health Director. There was no rabies PEP in Kapiri Mposhi and Kabwe (provincial headquarters). Luckily PEP was found in a faraway district and brought to Kabwe. The girl and her brother were given the first jabs and parked the rest doses in ice. They took it to a rural health post close to home where they finished the courses. This is what inspired me to go flat out, especially in rural farming communities to end rabies.
- Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (Department of Veterinary Services)
- Kabwe Municipal Council (Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development)
- Kabwe District Health Office (Ministry of Health)
- Kabwe News Center Radio and Television (community radio/TV station).
- Zambia Daily Mail Newspapers
- Radio Maranatha (community radio station)
- Traditional leaders (village headmen)