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Designing and Evaluating Intervention for Prevention and Control Towards Rabies in Malaysia

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Designing and evaluating intervention for prevention and control towards rabies among rural populations in Sabah, Malaysia

Rabies is a significant but neglected disease predominantly transmitted through dog bites and responsible for an estimated 55,000 to more than 70,000 human deaths annually worldwide but occurring mostly in Asia and Africa. With continuous effort, Malaysia declared free from rabies in 2003. However, there were rabies outbreak occurred in three states in 2015 and in Sarawak in 2017. Hence, Sabah is considered high risk state because is neighbouring Sarawak.

The Skuad PErangi Rabies (SPERA) Project was led by Dr Zulkhairul Naim bin Sidek Ahmad from Universiti Malaysia Sabah with the support of his team to maintain zero human rabies case among rural populations in Sipitang, Sabah.

There were many activities conducted to achieve the goal of the project. Initially, the volunteers were trained on rabies prevention and control measures. Additionally, the volunteers were exposed to the concept of the program and their responsibilities in carrying out this program successfully for the community health benefits. They were informed regarding them being an active agent in informing and educating the community on the danger of danger and its prevention to curb the disease. They also act as a motivator for creating awareness among the community.

Exhibition on rabies was conducted as well. During the exhibition, the materials related to rabies were displaced in the board. The final activity was door-to-door canvassing where the volunteers went to village’s home and distributed the rabies prevention and control tools consist of book, pamphlet, hand-fan, small badge and plastic bracelet.

A total of 31 volunteers were trained in training of trainers (TOT) and nearly 250 participants attended this exhibition. During the door-to-door canvassing, the volunteers went to give health education to 157 adult villagers.

Thanks to the funds and support provided by this SEAOHUN Small Grants Program, without a doubt, the villages were better equipped with knowledge and practice of rabies prevention and control and finally, the rabies case maintain zero in Sipitang district, Sabah, Malaysia.

SEAOHUN 2022 Small Grants

Project team leader: Dr Zulkhairul Naim bin Sidek Ahmad

Team members: Dr John Michael Cabuguason, Dr. Jamsari bin Hashim

- Personal protective equipment, distancing, and group size standards in this photo were consistent with local public health guidance and COVID-19 status in the specific country and time it was taken. This may not reflect best practices for all locations where COVID-19 is still spreading. -


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