An update from ANAW Kenya on their 2021 World Animal Day Grant

One health, one welfare
Naturewatch Foundation were thrilled to be able to give one of the main 2021 World Animal Day grants to ANAW Kenya, the African Network of Animal Welfare.

ANAW work throughout the continent, delivering care to animals, with their work firmly rooted in the belief that animal, environmental and human health are all deeply connected. The organisation also strives to encourage animal welfare to become an integral value within all societies throughout Africa and deliver several educational programmes.

The World Animal Day grant was donated to ANAW for them to use within their planned vaccination project in Kenya. The focus of this project was to target rabies as there is a stronghold of the disease within Kenya and every year thousands of people and animals are killed.

Rabies is highly fatal for both people and animals and 60,000 people die every year from contracting the illness, with 2,000 deaths in Kenya alone. This disease is often transmitted via bites from infected dogs, who are also unlikely to survive following infection. Rabies is preventable from the administration of a vaccine to animals living in high-risk areas.

The higher the infection rate in animals, the higher the risk of the disease jumping to humans, so the planned project was part of a greater overall plan to work towards eradicating rabies and creating a better future for both.  

ANAW Kenya planned to vaccinate thousands of animals using the money from the grant to reduce the rabies infection level within the communities most affected.

And the plans didn’t stop there, as ANAW Kenya also planned to deliver community education to thousands of animal owners to encourage mindset change and care for animals.

Vaccination time!
Although ANAW has been vaccinating dogs in other parts of the country over the last four years, Machakos is thought to be one of the most affected areas within rabies in Kenya. ANAW Kenya wanted to target this area to improve the lives of the animals and people living there.

Upon receiving the grant, everyone involved with the project assisted in publicising the planned vaccination schemes to encourage uptake amongst animal owners throughout Machakos.

The aim was to attract as many people as possible to bring their dogs to be vaccinated against rabies.

Although the project had been planned with dogs in mind, ANAW Kenya vaccinated cats and donkeys too, due to concerns that these animals can also contract the disease. Altogether, ANAW Kenya vaccinated over 1,000 animals over a three-day session against the fatal disease!

They had planned to vaccinate even more animals during the planned clinics but found that there was often a lack of concern or awareness about rabies from those who owned or interacted with animals.

Wanting to provide education to people in the region about the links in virus outbreak in people and animals, ANAW hosted sessions alongside the clinics. 

They succeeded in educating over 5,000 people about preventative healthcare for animals, responsible dog ownership and the connection between both human and animal health.

ANAW also plan to host another vaccination clinic within the next few months to administer their remaining vaccinations. They are hoping to vaccinate another 1,500 animals within the upcoming clinics and aim to increase education around this topic, so that if further rabies vaccination events take place, there will be an even greater turnout.

This work will be ongoing but the World Animal Day 2021 grant assisted in preventing animals from getting this life-threatening illness and will, in turn, protect the people that they live with.

This was only made possible due the generosity of people like you that support our work! Thank you.

- December 15, 2021