Louis Masai, Dogs, Kids and “Mission Rabies” in Malawi

“Dog is man’s best friend,” goes the colloquialism attributed to Frederick II, King of Prussia.

Rabies is friend to neither.

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Louis Masai for Mission Rabies. Blantyre, Malawi. May 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

To Malawi today we go to school with artist Louis Masai, who just painted three happy vaccinated dogs with colorfully patterned ears during eight days with the goal of raising the discussion about the vicious disease that has hurt this country.

With Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique as neighbors, landlocked Malawi has about 17 million people and its capital Blantyre has one of the highest rates of child rabies anywhere in Africa. Along with Mission Rabies, a voluntary veterinary team, the artist has been working to make it the lowest.

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Louis Masai for Mission Rabies. Blantyre, Malawi. May 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

Masai tells us that since May of 2015, the volunteers have vaccinated more than 35,000 dogs in Blantyre, vastly lowering the threat to children, and his new paintings are meant as a point of reference for the educational component of the Mission Rabies campaign.

“Using acrylics and brushes, I painted three murals of local dogs that I had met and whom the vets were treating,” he tells us of the new works inside the walls of local schools.

“It’s not unusual to have 5,000 to 8,000 children in a school, so it’s an incredibly busy and awesome place to host an education program,” he says. “The concept is that with the murals in situ, the teachers and students can discuss the information passed on to them by Mission Rabies and their team.”

Sometimes people can be man’s best friend as well.

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Louis Masai for Mission Rabies. Blantyre, Malawi. May 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

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Louis Masai for Mission Rabies. Blantyre, Malawi. May 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

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Louis Masai for Mission Rabies. Blantyre, Malawi. May 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

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Louis Masai for Mission Rabies. Blantyre, Malawi. May 2016. (photo © Louis Masai)

 

Learn more about Mission Rabies here: http://www.missionrabies.com/projects/malawi/

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