We’re so proud of the incredible steps our team has made in spite of work being put on hold due to the coronavirus between March and June 2020.
As we move into 2021, we are hoping to complete the third year of our mass rabies vaccination programme and move into our fourth year. Recently, there have been five confirmed cases of rabies in free-roaming dogs in Kabul, so our Community Engagement team has been visiting these areas to raise awareness of rabies and revaccinate dogs to reduce the spread.
Tragically, a young boy in District 12, located on the outskirts of Kabul, passed away from dog-mediated rabies in November 2020. The local residents were shaken by the terrible news and felt extremely upset and scared. As a result, a few residents requested for all the dogs in the area to be culled.
Dr Abdul-Jalil Mohammadzai (Dr Mo), Country Director for Mayhew Afghanistan arranged a meeting with local leaders – the district elders – to work out how Mayhew Afghanistan could help. After speaking about our mass rabies vaccination programme and our parallel neutering programme, Dr Mo was able to convince them to drop their request to cull the dogs, and we immediately sent our team to conduct a concentrated vaccination drive in the area.
Our team is implementing new ways of working more closely and effectively with the district elders across all districts in Kabul. Two years ago, they set up a rabies hotline in Kabul and as their work becomes more recognised in the community, the team has started to receive many more calls. In 2020, they received a total of 254 calls about dog bites, sick dogs and concerns regarding high numbers of dogs in an area. As awareness of our work increases, there have also been some calls enquiring about vaccination and neutering.
It is essential that we continue to work closely with the communities and district elders in Kabul, and we are delighted to be getting positive feedback from them.
In recent months, Dr Mo has been providing Continued Professional Development (CPD) for the vets at our Animal Birth Control (ABC) Centre to help them develop their skills. One such session included training on wound management and reconstruction in dogs – a vital skill. “In order to continue building [our vets’] skills and confidence, it’s essential that we provide CPD,” says Dr Mo. “Conducting neutering surgeries every day can be repetitive, and this training is helping to keep them motivated and interested. By providing regular training to vets who will later train others too, we are also helping to pass knowledge down to future generations.”
Find out more about Mayhew Afghanistan's work to help improve animal welfare, from addressing issues surrounding the free-roaming dog population to securing safer and healthier communities for both dogs and humans.Find out more
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