The GARC Education Platform: a unified approach to enhanced public and professional awareness

Enhanced public awareness and/or education and responsible dog ownership have been identified as two of the key factors that need to be addressed in order to successfully control and eliminate rabies. Effective educational initiatives, as well as improving the general understanding of rabies in targeted communities, need to provide accurate information on specific components of rabies prevention that enable recipients to take appropriate action.

In light of the problems caused by incorrect or partial information being shared with the public, the Partners for Rabies Prevention (PRP) recognized the importance of a coordinated approach to rabies education. As very few rabies educational resources provide comprehensive information pertaining to all of the components associated with rabies education, the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) established an online rabies educational platform, which provides a customized certificate of achievement to all of the graduates. By utilising the online coursework and final assessment, participants can undertake the various courses in the comfort of their home or in a structured workgroup consisting of their peers or colleagues.

To date (early 2017), the GARC Education Platform has three freely available courses:

1. Rabies Educator Certificate (REC) The Rabies Educator Certificate (REC) was developed to help meet the need to effectively disseminate accurate, life-saving information about rabies to at-risk communities throughout the world. The REC course is open to any interested participant, but is aimed specifically at people who work regularly in at-risk communities, and who are able to address community education regarding rabies. The REC modules include: What is rabies and how do people and animals get the disease; How to avoid dog bites and prevent rabies; Caring for animals; Understanding the role of a community educator in preventing dog bites and rabies; Communicating with people.

This course is currently available in English, French and Spanish.

2. Animal Handling and Vaccination Certificate (AVC) The Animal Handling and Vaccination Certificate (AVC) consists of five individual modules, each covering a very specific topic relating to the vaccination of dogs. The AVC course has been designed as an introduction to dog handling and vaccination, which can precede an actual physical training program. Alternatively, the AVC course work can be used by trained professionals who wish to refresh their knowledge and remain up-to-date regarding new techniques and tools on dog handling and vaccination.

The AVC covers: The role of the animal handler and vaccinator; Understanding animal behaviour; Effective ways to approach dogs; Equipment needed to catch and handle dogs; Effective vaccine administration techniques.

This course is currently available in English and French and requires the participants to have first undertaken and passed the REC course.

3. Community Coordinator for Rabies Certificate (CCC) The CCC course has been designed to provide more advanced and in-depth training for Rabies Educator Certificate (REC) graduates, enabling them to become actively involved in the protection of their community against rabies, whilst also ensuring the humane treatment of animals. While the REC focuses on community education, the CCC expands this knowledge to other elements of community welfare, helping the graduate to provide even more support to enable the community to prevent rabies. It covers information needed for a community coordinator to become a rabies reference point for their community, and to help the community work together with rabies control programmes to ensure vaccination programmes are successful. A particular interest in rabies, community welfare and a willingness to communicate with people are the only requirements of REC graduates to be proficient in the CCC course.

This course is currently available in English and requires the participants to have first passed the REC course.

To access the GARC Education Platform go here
To read some examples of the REC in action, please see the case studies here.




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Version 4 - last updated May 2017