Friday, August 14, 2015

Become a certified rabies educator and save lives

Rabies is a terrible disease, but it is preventable. Everyone can play a role in control of this terrible pathogen.
Do you know enough to save a life when it comes to rabies prevention? If not, you can change that in a matter of hours and it won't cost a cent.

According to the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, one person dies somewhere in the world due to rabies every ten minutes. There is no measure of the countless number of animal lives lost – either directly, due to infection with the virus, or indirectly due to rabies control measures (around 20 million dogs per year are killed to try to control rabies).

While we do not have rabies in Australia yet, a rabiesincursion would be devastating.

The virus is terrifying – once a person or animal develops clinical signs, they will almost invariably die. Effective post-exposure treatment is available, but people need to know it is out there. Many simply turn to traditional remedies or faith healers, or don’t seek help because they don’t appreciate the risks of exposure.
In the majority of countries where rabies occurs, the main vectors are dogs, but rabies can affect any mammal including livestock.

The Global Alliance for Rabies Control is offering a free online “Rabies Educator Certificate” for anyone (you don’t have to be a vet), in order to encourage more people to be able to spread the word about rabies. (Thanks to Bonny from Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities for the tip off).

The notes are very accessible – even to those without a veterinary or scientific background – and the five modules can be completed at your own pace.
The modules cover:
  1. What is rabies and how is it transmitted to humans and animals?
  2. How people can avoid dog bites and prevent rabies
  3. Caring for companion animals
  4. Understanding the role of a community educator in preventing dog bites and rabies
  5. Communicating with people

If you happen to be interested in public health, infectious diseases and/or animal health, or if you plan to travel to a country where rabies occurs, this is an interesting and straightforward course. Once you pass the final assessment will receive a certificate. If you have done some study in veterinary science, animal health or public health you can potentially complete the entire course in around an hour.

To enrol in the course, visit here

You need to set up login and create a profile but this doesn’t take long. Then you can either complete the reading and quizzes online or download and print the reading, and complete the quizzes after that. Easy peasy.