Luke's August Update!

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Luke's August Update!

Tue 4th Sep 2018

I can’t believe we’re now in September!!!!! August was immense as ever – please see the below for last month’s update!!

Parcels and Volunteer Teams

Lulu managed to dispatch a perfect 100 parcels - valuing £33,352.87!!!!

Teams have been in Malawi, Costa Rica, South Africa, Romania, India and Thailand.

We have run three surgical training courses in Goa, three in Ooty, two in Thailand and 22 students attended the Thai ITC this month!!! The Royal Vet Core also sent one of their vets to undertake a training course in Goa which shows the Hicks reputation is ever expanding!


Our total rabies education figures now stand at 2,526,624; that includes children, teachers and community workshops! It’s amazing to have managed this in just over four years and great to see this cornerstone of our approach powering forward and making such an impact. Gareth’s report is below.

Afghanistan and Ranchi!

Below are Praveen’s reports on Ranchi (over 1,000 dogs neutered and vaccinated) and his mission to Kabul this month. Supporting the Mayhew International and in collaboration with HOPE and Animal Trust, Praveen headed over to Afghanistan with two experienced catchers to assist with the rabies vaccination programme in Kabul. He trained teams up with how to use the WVS app and ran a workshop for their catchers. Well done Praveen, fantastic job as ever and what a trip!


Julie’s team have been tirelessly at it as ever and Dr Gowri is doing brilliantly with driving the rabies surveillance and analysis. A very sincere thanks to Rotary International for their constant and very generous support with the Goa project. Professor Burrows, one of our US trustees has championed us on so many fronts in relation to this grant and his support with both Rotary and WSAVA Foundation has been immense and hugely appreciated.

Karlette is in Pune this month with the truck overseeing the extra training courses and workshops that we managed to work into the schedule. 130 vet students visited the truck the other day to be inspired about the ITC work and the rabies elimination strategies. 


The ITC team have celebrated their 25,000th neuter surgery! Each one of those surgeries has helped train another vet. I love that fact and am so inspired the amazing team who have built up this centre over the last 8 years. The courses are fully booked for almost 12 months in advance and the reputation of the clinic is all thanks to the dedication of such a competent and committed team. The rabies-free Nilgiris is also a huge achievement that has quietly been conquered in the background. Absolutely amazing!

Ilona has also mentioned the working equine street clinics that have been so effective. Thanks again to the inspiration and steer from Dr Patrick Pollock at Edinburgh, but also the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Trust and WTG who have enabled these to take shape and power on. The diagnosis of glanders has been a bit of a drama in Ooty but without these clinics we never would have been able to pick it up and protect so many other equines and people (as it’s zoonotic and potentially fatal!).

Also, a massive thanks to BBF for their tireless support with the Jamste programme in Bylakuppe as well as the Marchig Trust and Dogs Trust, without whom we simply wouldn’t function and have made all these things possible.

Please also find below the latest WVS Intern report from Dr Sarasi. It’s a great quarterly report and brilliant to see the awesome laser from LiteCure doing such incredible work.


The report from Dr G is as uplifting as ever. Ian and the team consistently go the extra mile for the animals and I find these reports always lift my day when I read them. Please take some time to read the feedback at the end of the WVS Thailand report – it’s from Dr Juliet and she has just participated in one of our newly launched surgical refresher courses for vets returning to practice after a career break.


Dr Barbara Zimmer has just got an editorial published in the Lancet (!) about the MR project to date and how it has transformed the child incidence of rabies deaths (in a positive and amazing way!). Thank you to Barbara, Rachel, Jo, Dagmar, Neil and all the inspirational Malawi team that have enabled this, especially to MSD Animal Health for helping us with so many life-saving vaccines. It’s great to see the project keep winning thanks to so much support and drive.

Please see the below for Paul’s latest knockout update – the Zomba team are smashing the records again:

“Out of the seven EPAs we have only two full ones remaining and a little bit of cleanup work, mostly in Chingale EPA. Looking at the vaccination numbers for this past month, everything is steaming ahead as planned, so far without any major hitch. As always we have four vaccination teams working concurrently out in the district. Here is the breakdown for the month's vaccination numbers:

We have been working in three EPAs this month: Mkango and Chipembere have been in Chingale EPA while Mvuu is finishing Thondwe and Kambuku cleans up Mpokwa. Without context, these numbers would not mean too much. I did some calculations this afternoon and am able to say without a doubt that we are going over expected goals: by this time last year, looking at the same scheduled daily work zones, we did 14,000 vaccinations... This year we have done 16,214! So, during the first eight weeks of our programme this year we have exceeded our vaccination numbers by over 2,000. That's a percentage increase of 15.8%, which is a figure that makes my heart swell up a bit, if you know what I mean. I am very proud of everyone I have working on the ground this year - they are smashing it out there!

Dagmar’s report on Blantyre is below and there’s some great rescues in there!


Amy’s report on the MR Uganda project is below. Thank you Amy, Jo and all involved in making that project such a success and a good foundation for future years there.

Other news

Emma’s paper is out!!!! Well done Emma! Prevalence of mutilations and other skin wounds in working donkeys in Tamil Nadu, India.

Good luck to Dagmar on her climb up Kilimanjaro next month!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally – let’s welcome Joe to the team – Joe is going to be working with Nicky, Gareth and Carly on marketing the Young Vets Club!!! Exciting times! Joe and Emma were both initiated with last week’s team karate session and it looks like they are going to fit in perfectly!

Let’s get to it.