We do this using a combination of methods to access dogs and we need the support of the community and dog owners
We use a combination of vaccination methods to try to reach as many dogs as possible for vaccination.
First, our teams of two vaccinators travel through a region going door-to-door, focusing on the dogs which can be held for vaccination by hand, either by their owner, a member of the community or by themselves.
All owners are provided with a vaccination certificate and a free dog-collar to show that the dog is vaccinated.
These door-to-door teams are then followed up by larger catch-vaccinate-release vaccination teams using nets to catch and vaccinate dogs that cannot otherwise be handled for vaccination. Once caught in the net, each dog is vaccinated, marked with a non-toxic paint and released unharmed. In this way we can immunise a high enough proportion of dogs to eliminate rabies.
Our vaccination teams also serve to uphold the welfare of roaming dogs by coordinating with local NGOs to treat any dogs with wounds or injuries. Our teams help around 150 dogs per year that would otherwise suffer from chronic injuries.
A community education programme moves ahead of the vaccination teams to educate communities about the risk of rabies and how to stay safe around dogs.
This includes a school education campaign which conducts classes for children in schools on a rotating basis. These lessons run for 15 – 30 minutes per class and include a presentation, quiz and theatre to engage with children and make them aware of life-saving knowledge about the risk of rabies. Around 1,400 schools are visited each year, reaching around 170,000 children.
The education programme also delivers sessions to community groups and workers unions to ensure that rabies is top of people’s concerns following any dog bite and to encourage the community to help get as many dogs vaccinated as possible when the vaccination teams come to their area.
To finally make Goa Rabies Free, it is essential that we find every last rabid dog in the state. The community have an essential role in reporting any dog seen with possible signs of rabies to the Goa Rabies Hotline (7744029586).
Please ensure you report any dog showing signs of: