One Health education in schools
Building on results we obtained this year about how people are affected by zoonotic diseases like rabies and leishmaniosis in the argan forest, and what they know about such risks which can be fatal, we are preparing a broad health education campaign in local villages for next year. This campaign will raise awareness on the risks represented by these diseases and more importantly on how to prevent them through behavioral changes to break the disease cycle. Through our work this year, we now know that people are aware of rabies although they don’t know how it is transmitted nor how to prevent it or how important it is to vaccinate dogs.
Our work also showed that people did not know anything about another important disease affecting both people and dogs, leishmaniosis. In fact, we detected leishmaniosis to be present in local people and the local dog population but nobody there was really aware of this disease transmitted by sandflies. This disease can be quite debilitating for people, leaving affected people with disfiguring scars and psychosocial trauma.
The objective of our One Health education campaign next year will be to bring behavioral changes that lead to break the transmission cycles of the disease, by making people aware of all the risks and symptoms of zoonotic diseases but of their roles in allowing disease transmission. What should they do when a dog attack them or children or if a dog bites somebody? How to stop being bitten by sandflies which live in crack walls or near waste dumps which can transmit leishmaniasis? Why do dogs need to be vaccinated again rabies?
Through simple language and known health education techniques based mainly on pictures, we will train trainers in villages and target at least 3,000 people in villages in the region of Agadir and Drarga. Your support is really needed to allow our specialist One Health team to conduct this highly important work next year which will save lives, especially of children.
One Health education using drawing