More than 59,000 people die from rabies around the world each year – that’s about 1 person every 9 minutes. Asia accounts for almost 50% of all human deaths from rabies – it is estimated that half of these are children under the age of 15!! We find these figures unacceptable, and are committed to finding an effective solution to this problem n Laos.
Our goal is to develop an effective community-based programme to complement the efforts of the Lao government and help prevent the spread of rabies in our communities.
Project Vatsana is a village-based vaccination programme that one of our community members Mrs.Vatsana (Tay) Darke suggested that we consider. Tay explained that it is often difficult for less affluent Lao people to bring their dogs and cats for vaccination if they do not have access to cars. She recommended a pro-active, village-based programme where our volunteers would work with Naibans (village heads) and Abbots of temples to vaccinate dogs and cats on site at all the villages.
In addition to conducting vaccination clinics on the village level, our volunteers will also help to educate the villagers to help empower them with knowledge necessary to keep them and their families safe from rabies. Our goal with Project Vatsana is to educate, vaccinate and eliminate rabies as a threat to people in Laos.
EDUCATE – VACCINATE – ELIMINATE
Educate. Education is essential to help communities understand how to eliminate rabies in the area. We hope to achieve this by also developing partnership with schools – both international and local. We strongly feel that by working with the next generation, we can change the way people in Laos care for animals and improve the quality of life for both people and their animals.
Vaccinate. We are committed to working with the Lao Government to support their annual rabies vaccinations on World Rabies Day. Our long-term goal with Project Vatsana is to supplement that programme with an ongoing vaccination clinics on the village level to ensure all the dogs and cats in those areas are protected against rabies.
Eliminate. Our main goal and the mission of this project is to vaccinate all companion animals in the area to eliminate rabies as a threat to both animals and people. We also would like to vaccinate village dogs and cats against other diseases, however, this will depend on availability of those vaccines and budget.