Queen Sofia dogs get the rabies shot from cheetah conservationists
The Queen Sofia community in the Outjo district had the opportunity to share in a curtain raiser for World Rabies Day, commemorated every year on 28 September.
Rabies occurs widely in Namibia, infecting mostly browsing angulates from where it can be transferred to small carnivores who feed on the carcasses of animals that died of rabies. Via this same vector, it can also infect domestic pets.
Bringing them into the rabies loop, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) last week vaccinated 67 dogs belonging to the 50 or so households that make up the Queen Sofia community. This round of vaccinations was done as part of the fund’s One Health campaign which started in August in the Okakarara district when 108 dogs and 35 cats got the shot.
Last year, the fund vaccinated more than 1000 dogs and cats in the same campaign.
“We are always very excited by the overwhelming response we receive from community members when the Cheetah Conservation Fund holds rabies vaccination clinics and awareness events. This tells us there is a huge need for these services in the communal conservancies near the CCF Centre, particularly in the Eastern regions,” said Dr Laurie Marker, CCF Founder and Executive Director.
The One Health Campaign and Rabies Vaccination Clinics are made possible by the Foundation for Human Rabies Education and Eradication (FHREE), a CCF partner under the direction of Dr. Martine Work, an epidemiologist and its Executive Director. The Debmarine Namdeb Foundation have also supported the One Health Campaign by donating the disposable veterinary supplies used for the vaccination clinic.
“CCF’s vaccination clinics through the One Health Campaign have brought veterinary services closer to remote communities such as Queen Sofia, and in doing so we are meeting the government half way to eradicate zoonotic diseases in Namibia,” said Dr Paul Set, the fund’s veterinarian.
Cheetah Conservation Fund veterinarian, Dr Paul Set (left) with Eveline Ikondja, an intern, and Veisy Kasaona, the fund’s Community Officer.