In Malawi, every dog bite case is associated with rabies until ruled out by the veterinary authorities. Luckily, many people know that it is significant to go straight to the hospital once you have been bitten by a dog, especially if it is stray.
The government spends millions of kwacha annually in the fight against rabies through giving vaccinations to people bitten by dogs. Unfortunately, because of high levels of poverty and inadequate drugs and hospital personnel, many people fail to access proper medical treatment and often people do not reach clinics in time to be treated.
Worse still, many people living below the poverty line can hardly afford a decent meal; therefore making it virtually impossible to pay for rabies vaccination and other crucial procedures such as spaying and neutering.
Controlling of stray dogs through spaying and neutering also reduces the spread of rabies in dogs and people. These dogs are potentially dangerous because they are not usually vaccinated against rabies. Some of these dogs are homeless, however many are owned animals that are allowed to roam the streets. Since most of these animals are not sterilized, many unwanted puppies are born which may be abandoned and suffer poor welfare. LSPCA runs regular clinics in local communities to vaccinate dogs against rabies and spay/neuter the animals to prevent unwanted puppies. We also educate owners that dogs should not be allowed to roam the streets during the day or night.
Educating the public on rabies and basic animal care and co-ordinate our campaigns to coincide with the World Rabies Day on the 28th September and the Malawi National Rabies Day. We issue vaccination certificates to all owners and also provide flea and worming treatments.