Margao: A lesson on efforts put in by Mission Rabies, the organisation working alongside the state government to reduce the number of rabies cases in the state, has been included in the Class Six science textbook. The lesson promotes awareness about rabies among the students and teachers.
On the occasion of World Rabies Day, which is celebrated on September 28, the organisation informed that this year it has managed to complete over 45,000 vaccinations of dogs in the state, including stray dogs.
Speaking about the achievement, director of Mission Rabies Dr Murugan Appupillai said awareness activities will continue. “One of the great achievements of Mission Rabies education is that it has now reached the school textbook. This is great news as we celebrate World Rabies Day. Our awareness activities are going ahead but unlike previous years, we won’t be having a rally or any big event this year due to the COVID pandemic,” he said.
Class Six science textbook contains an entire chapter on rabies, a deadly disease that can be prevented, as well as details on how to treat dog bites and prevention and action that should be taken in case a dog has rabies.
Mission Rabies has been working alongside the state government since 2013 and has, through its vaccination drives and awareness programmes, achieved zero deaths due to rabies as of last year and this year.
As per the organisation’s figures till the end of August, Mission Rabies has vaccinated a total of 45,740 dogs this year, while in the last three years, it had achieved an average of over 96,500 vaccinations per year.
In August alone, the organisation took up vaccination of 5,030 dogs. As for its community programme, Mission Rabies reached out to over 1.70 lakh children, 7,393 teachers and 30,944 community members last year. This year, the organisation has reached out to 69,324 children, 3,069 teachers and 12,341 community members.
In its monthly report, Mission Rabies project manager Julie Corfmat said team members have faced challenges due to COVID-19 but added that they were determined to complete the work. “It has been an extremely difficult month for the teams, as 20 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 and both, the Bardez and Ponda squads are in isolation. Fortunately, those who contracted the virus only developed mild symptoms and are now on the road to recovery. This is the second time the teams have had to undergo quarantine despite the safety measures in place, and the vaccination work is being severely affected as a result. However, the teams are determined to cover as much of the state as possible before the end of the year,” she said in the report.