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Mission Rabies educates one million children in Malawi

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Mission Rabies, a local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has educated over a million children about rabies in Malawi, Country Manager Dagmar Mayer said Thursday.

Mayer said that last month, Mission Rabies celebrated the education of one million children in Malawi.

The milestone, Mayer said, is a result of their rabies education lessons, empowering children in local schools with the knowledge of how to protect themselves from rabies and what actions to take if bitten by a potentially rabid dog.

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She said Mission Rabies has been working in Malawi since 2015 in the districts of Blantyre, Zomba and Chiradzulu aimed at reducing dog-mediated rabies deaths through a combination of annual mass canine vaccinations and education outreach in the country.

“The lessons take the form of creative role playing performed by Mission Rabies staff, informational leaflets and interactive participation from children to help them learn the actions they should take to stay safe from rabies,” said Mayer.

Gareth Thomas, Director of Education said “One child dies from rabies every 15 minutes.

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“Many of these children die at home without proper medical attention, because they are unaware of the disease. These one million children now know how to protect themselves from this horrible disease,” he said.

“We prioritise primary schools as we know that children are more receptive to new messages at this age and more likely to share these with their community, so there is a multiplier effect for each of these one million children reached. It is great to see people putting our lessons into practice,” Thomas said

According to Thomas, in 2012, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre reported the highest number of child rabies deaths in Africa but since Mission Rabies started to work in the area three years ago, in 2017 the figure dropped to one death from within Blantyre City.

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