|Students in Liberia holding the Be a Tree kit posters|
Dog bite has been a serious concern in Foya District since the end of the war in 2003. In 2008, there was a mass killing of dogs in Foya as means of curtailing the spread of rabies and addressing the issue of dog bite in the District. This method failed to eliminate the spread of rabies or even significantly reduce dog bite cases in the district. Foya District is bordering with Guinea and Sierra Leone. There has always been an influx of unvaccinated dogs from those countries. The presence of large number of strange dogs in the districts has also been a threat in controlling dog bite.
Every year, there has been report of two or more deaths as the result of dog bite. Children have been the main victims. In May, 2012, the Liberia Animal Welfare and Conservation Society in partnership with Doggone Safe Canada took up the task to educate children in Foya District on dog bite prevention. The Liberia Animal Welfare and Conservation Society visited 10 schools and 4 communities with the education program. 15,520 children were educated on dog bite prevention. In August, we visited the hospital in Foya to ascertain the number of dog bites since our intervention with the education program.
We were told by the hospital that since May, there has been no report of a dog bite case in the hospital.
We at the Liberia Animal Welfare and Conservation Society want to extend our thanks and appreciation to Doggone Safe Canada for their support in empowering LAWCS to reach large number of children in the society. Our dog bite prevention program also ensures that today`s children grow up with compassion, empathy and respect for their dogs, as well as each other. We encourage compassion and responsible behavior toward dogs, as well as inspiring them to make a difference.
Morris Darbo is the founder and executive director of LAWCS and Doggone Safe Co-ordinator for Liberia
Visit the LAWCS website