Bryan the dog, one of the many animals treated by WVS in August

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Luke's August update

Thu 1st Sep 2016

Volunteer Teams and parcels

30 charities were sent a cumulative total of 64 parcels valued at £42,896 of medical supplies and equipment. Teams were in Thailand, India and Malawi.


Ranchi and Khunti – Praveen and the team have been flat out managing both the truck training programme and the ongoing vaccination and neutering campaign. 1238 and 1432 dogs were vaccinated respectively in each project site and a total of 928 dogs were neutered.

All Ranchi wards have now been covered this year so 27,764 dogs have been vaccinated to date in 2016. Shakti has been running the education work in Ranchi and 9,901 people having been rabies educated in August alone. Fantastic! A big thank you to Dr Vinay for leading the truck training with his normal exceptional professionalism and competence.

India – ITC – 2 courses (1 Indian and 1 International) have been completed this month. In total, 270 vets/assistants/paravets have been trained on the courses at the India ITC in 2016. Aside from broadening the scope of our equine work, thanks in large to the Peter O’Sullivan Trust, who have donated an equine vehicle to support these endeavours, Ilona (Clinical Director of the ITC) also ran a team-building exercise with the Hicks India Training Centre in Goa, as they join the WVS India family. They are a great crew and it is good to have them on board.

Goa – Julie (Mission Rabies Project Manager) and her team vaccinated 2,754 dogs this month in Goa. Dr Ishan has been working very hard with the team at the Hicks India Training Centre, as we hope to get that powering on to assist with humane population control in key zones in the Goa State. Thank you very much to him.


August was our best month so far this year for adoptions at the WVS Care for Dogs shelter, Jamie (Operations Director WVS Thailand) reports:

"We successfully rehomed 15 dogs which included a few of our senior dogs.  Macha was the oldest rehomed at 11 years old! We rescued 25 dogs this month including 8 new TVT patients. 

Bryan was rescued by one of our volunteers.  He was hit by a car and suffered injuries to the head and leg.  The Vet team treated his injuries with Manuka honey and Bryan fully recovered after just one week.

We had an international training course with 11 participants, the feedback was great.  There were two vet volunteers from the UK, Joanna Melluish and Richard Harvey who were both awesome.

In total, we sterilised and vaccinated 17 cats and 166 dogs, however we also performed a bunch of other surgeries such as front and hind leg amputations and enucleations, also had many other rescue cases including traumatic wounds and many TVTs

The ITC staff gave the shelter dogs some TLC by bathing, de-ticking and clipping the nails of all the shelter dogs!"


There is a huge amount to report for Malawi – almost beyond the scope of this update. Zomba has/is an immense project which Paul is leading amazingly. The city campaign is complete – the district is now underway. Dagmar and Jo have been amazing in supporting these projects from the UK and Jo has finally returned from her Uganda/Malawi rabies extravaganza!!! Thanks also to Annekim and to GRI for loaning her to help with the Zomba drive!

Paul’s report is below:

“The Zomba campaign is off to a great start, with this amazing team making some spectacular numbers in the city.  And after one week in the district it is looking like we may be doing record numbers out there as well.  Following months of planning by the visiting UK staff and our host-country partners and myself, it is so very gratifying to see this all come together.

For the city campaign we used eight vaccination teams to cover the entire urban footprint in just two weeks, implementing the same method of static point and door to door that works so well in Blantyre.  During the first weekend of static point vaccinations we did a total of 3,250 injections, vaccinating 2,614 dogs and 636 cats.  With a city-wide goal of 5,000 dogs we were very pleased to be halfway there right out of the gate! The following week of door to door team vaccinations netted another 789 doses administered - 212 cats and 576 dogs - which brought the grand total of vaccinated animals for week one up to 4,039.  Our first week total ended up breaking down to 848 cats and 3,190 dogs... Not a bad week!

After a few well earned days of rest we struck out for the second half of the campaign.  The static points gave us similar numbers to the previous week: 433 cats and 2,631 dogs (and one poor monkey) which gave us another 3,065 vaccinated animals and formally put us above the 5,000 dogs vaccinated goal!  Over the following days of door to door we found and vaccinated another 241 cats and 676 dogs, raising our numbers by another 917 animals.  The final figures for the second week showed 3.982 doses given to 674 cats and 3,307 dogs. This leaves us with the grand total figures for the city campaign at a staggering 8,021 vaccines administered to 1,522 cats and 6,497 dogs!

Compared to Blantyre, Zomba City is quite small but the rest of the district is considerably larger.  We began this week with our mobile vaccination and education/sensitization teams heading out to see what kind of numbers we will be looking at in the rural areas. With the data collected up until last night, it looks as if we have our work cut out for us.  So far, in just one week, the teams have vaccinated another 2,356 animals - 550 cats and 1,806 dogs - in a mix of door to door and small-scale static point vaccination centers.  We averaged about 500 doses administered per day!  

Zomba really does not get very much attention from welfare projects and everyone that I have spoken to is ecstatic to have this program working here; from the City and District Council buildings to the market stalls in which I buy my produce."

Tarryn is leading the Blantrye rural district rabies vaccination drive which is also going exceptionally well.

Eithne returns today from her immense study looking at the resistance to wormers within the livestock of rural Malawi as we drive forward into a One Health arena with our work in the country.

Other news

Andy, (Research and Epidemiology Manager) has finished developing the new WVS app and it is spectacular. We are currently discussing how to utilise this and make it universally accessible, building the epidemiology and research teams of both WVS and Mission Rabies. 

Driving forward the educational aspects of what we are about, is proving hugely successful and as we go into September and the Sri Lankan and then Goa mass drives begin, we can really build on this.

Very best and thanks again to everybody for all your tremendous work – I am trying to trim these monthly reports but it’s virtually impossible!!!! You’re all driving such amazing projects!!!! Totally inspiring!

Rock on,