Mission Rabies campaign closed its 2017 Blantyre City anti-rabies initiative with an announcement that the city has recorded no death due to rabies in the past 12 months.
“No child bitten by a dog in our working areas died of rabies at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the last 12 months,” said Mission Rabies country manager Dagmar Mayer.
The success, which is being attributed to the vaccination of over 34 000 dogs annually in the past three years, represents about 75 percent coverage of the estimated dog population in Blantyre. The achievement is above the World Health Organisation (WHO) rabies vaccination coverage rate of 70 percent.
Deputy director of animal health and livestock development in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Patrick Chikungwa described rabies as a very serious disease to both animals and humans.
“Despite introducing mass anti-rabies vaccination campaigns, we have challenges in coverage. I salute you for achieving that 70 percent [in Blantyre],” he said.
Blantyre City Council director of health and social services Emmanuel Kanjunjunju expressed gratitude for the vaccination campaign.
Apart from the vaccination, Mission Rabies has reached out to 137 635 pupils and 3 086