September 28 is World Rabies Day! CCF invites you to join us in creating greater awareness to provide rabies vaccinations in Namibia. Rabies is a problem affecting the wildlife in Namibia. As rabies is spread between unvaccinated domestic animals it is passed very easily to wildlife populations. The best way to minimize rabies contraction in wildlife is to promote awareness and encourage vaccinations for domestic companion and working animals.
CCF will participate in World Rabies Day again this year by hosting another public outreach campaign at the CCF Research and Education Centre in Namibia. We invite you to begin your own campaign to help promote rabies prevention and support for the CCF mobile clinic in Namibia by organizing your own booths and promotions in your areas.
Last year, with the support of the Foundation for Human Rabies Education & Eradication (FHREE) CCF’s Education team engaged in a public outreach campaign themed “Share the Message. Save a Life,” to provide information about rabies prevention. The team handed out flyers and engaged with local visitors to place posters across CCF’s service area. Results were so positive that the CCF One Health Program was developed.
Thanks to grants by FHREE, Disney and Tusk organizations, CCF’s strategy has expanded from awareness and education to include a new mobile care clinic that allows the large-scale vaccination of animals, bringing veterinary care directly to the community in the Greater Waterberg conservancies. It also puts CCF in contact with farmers who are willing to assist with other programs that will help CCF mitigate human-wildlife conflict.
The first expedition for the new mobile vet clinic was in the Eastern Communal Conservancies and was led by CCF’s Veterinarian, Robin Gieling, along with a team including Namibian paravets and CCF interns. Over the first two days CCF’s team was able to administer vaccines to 153 animals! In the following week, the team reached 500 vaccinations!
The 500th animal was a cat owned by Aron Kavehamo, who has been helping CCF since last April. Aron has agreed to help CCF in testing E-Shepherd collars on his farm as a possible mitigation method for livestock losses to predators. Hopefully the collars, worn by livestock, can help CCF reduce human-wildlife conflict.
Since we began using our mobile clinic, there have been two trips, we have just vaccinated close to 800 domestic animals and we will continue our efforts to reach the community and help stop the spread of this debilitating disease.
Outreach will also continue with our education team. CCF Researcher, Dr. Hanlie Winterbach in Gobabis has met with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Regional Offices to distribute CCF’s print resources, our new rabies awareness posters and the human/wildlife conflict Farmer Carnivore Help Hotline posters. The print resources have become a welcomed addition to community centers and outreach programs across rural Namibia.
This project also allows the opportunity for CCF interns to participate , which provides necessary training for the next generation to learn how to implement programs that can help eradicate rabies and provide animal health care.