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Vaccinating at the Static Clinics

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Vaccinating at the Static Clinics

The first workday started early. We were up by 4:30 am and by 7:30 am, we had split into our small groups and begun work at the static clinics. Dawn and I, along with John, Tohko, Joseph, Samual, and the other John (yes, there are 2), are part of the Giraffe group, which was assigned the Ndirande-Matope primary school in Blantyre as our static clinic location. Our first morning was packed.

Jessie vaccinating 3 cats in a bag

Clinician's Brief

Dawn and I delivered the vaccinations for our group, and on the first day, our team vaccinated more than 460 dogs and cats. We typically vaccinate the cats in bags, to ensure the safety of the cats and the volunteers.

Our team had a good system—we collected data from the owners at the door, recorded it on the Mission Rabies app, and then invited the owners to bring their dog(s) inside the school room to be vaccinated.

When we vaccinate the dogs, we also tend to any basic wounds the dogs may have, such as ear wounds or minor abrasions. We use a blue-tinted antiseptic spray to help prevent infection. Our spray bottle was rather finicky and tended to spray us instead of the dogs—we spent most of the day with blue necks.

The area around the school was absolutely breathtaking—we were surrounded by mountains and beautiful, leafy trees. The rainstorm that hit stayed with us most of the day. Although the raindrops pelting the aluminum roof were rather loud, we were grateful for the rain; it kept us cool and comfortable. Those who came to get their dogs vaccinated were not deterred by the weather—they stayed patiently in line with their dogs until it was their turn.

A child whose puppy was just vaccinated

A child whose puppy was just vaccinated

Day 2 in the Static Clinic

We had another full day of static clinics on Sunday—we started our day at 4:30am and did not return to Fisherman’s Rest until 5:45 pm. The Giraffe group vaccinated another 400 dogs—that is almost 1000 in 2 days, just for our team!

We held our static clinic at a different school today, and although school was not in session, there were many children around. While we held our clinic in one of the buildings, we got to listen to the children at soccer practice. The school was also close to a church and when Dawn and I made our trek to the toilets, we could hear the congregation singing. It was beautiful!

The line of locals waiting to get their dogs vaccinated 

The line of locals waiting to get their dogs vaccinated 

We had a dog that came to our clinic today that needed medication administered—Dawn and I were practically giddy that we had a chance to use Plumb's Veterinary Drugs in the field!

Some of the other groups had slower lines and had time to interact with the kids. The Crocodiles group (Kelsey and Leslie) danced for the children and also taught them how to play tic-tac-toe in the sand.

Monday is another full day. We will begin 3 days of work traveling door-to-door in Malawi, offering the free vaccinations. Our big groups will break into smaller groups. The smaller teams typically consist of 3 individuals, usually 1 volunteer and 2 locals. We will navigate through neighborhoods and towns knocking on doors and gates to offer free rabies vaccination for their dogs.

Everyone is so energized—we all have had an incredible time so far and loved these days in the clinics. Looking forward to more!—Jessie Foley


JESSIE FOLEY has a degree in veterinary technology from Cedar Valley College, as well as a degree in advertising and public relations from University of Arkansas. She was previously on the veterinary nurse team at University of Tennessee Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Currently, Foley is the audience outreach manager for Brief Media and also plays a key role in Brief Media's partnership with Mission Rabies. In 2017, she joined the Mission Rabies Mega Vaccine Drive in Malawi, Africa for her second year. 

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