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Luke's July Update!

Thu 2nd Aug 2018

It’s been another incredible month! Take a look below for a blistering summer July update!

Parcels and Volunteer Teams

64 parcels dispatched, valuing an amazing £21,547.25

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

We have run three surgical training courses in Goa, three in Ooty, two in Thailand and one Thai outreach project.


We’ve done it!!!!! What a phenomenal team – we have now rabies educated over 2,016,908 children since the launch of Mission Rabies. We’ve visited over 5,000 schools and we also know that this cornerstone of our work has saved lives.

I love this quote from the Headteacher at Dindi Primary in Zomba:  “Before 2016 I have [seen] many dog bites, rabies cases to both humans and animals, and dog killings. But, for these 3 years Mission Rabies has been working in this area, [this] has all turned into history. I plead with you don’t leave the project unfinished as other organizations do because the effects are clearly seen. We will go back to those dog bites and killings.”


Praveen’s excellent report is below. Over 1,000 vaccinations and sterilisations again! So far, the surveillance efforts by Mission Rabies is continuing to help Ranchi maintain the "zero human rabies death" status. Our timely checks and pick up for the suspected rabies cases are proving useful and in July, Praveen made a presentation to the Director Municipalities showing the WHO Technical Book where Ranchi is mentioned on the World Map for working towards the WHO goal for global canine rabies elimination. 


Hicks and Truck Training

We have a totally uplifting and excellent report from Karlette this month covering June and July at the Hicks. The rescue stories are emotional! I’m becoming even more of a soft touch as these reports come in each month! The story of Dobby who was found with his eye being eaten away, the dog that had been spotted with a wire wrapped around its leg six months ago, Romeo, Naughty, Lucky – the list goes on. The team at the Hicks have had a solid two months of monsoon and still averaged over 830 sterilisations each month as well as doing all these rescues and running the truck training. A sincere thanks to Dr Karlette, Dr Aswin and Dr Lysandra as well as the rest of the incredible Goa team. Two years of awesome!!!

Thanks also to Dr Shashi and Dr Budhe (Vets for Animals) and all their work with the Nagpur truck training alongside our own Dr Lysandra and Dr Balaji.

Mission Rabies Goa:

Over 5,000 dogs this month and 145 calls through the hotline!! The IBCM (Integrated Bite Case Management) work is going well with 247 cases followed up – the results are super interesting with 16 people advised to go for full PEP and noting that 35 could have stopped the course. We have now taken on a second IBCM officer and welcome Bridie to the team. Under the direction and support of the Goan Government, this project is pioneering rabies elimination in India and it is phenomenally exciting for Mission Rabies to be a partner in this. A sincere thanks to Dr Crystal from CDC who nanopore-sequenced the first canine rabies virus in India at the lab with Dr Gowri and Andy!!!

It is with sincere thanks to the Goan Government, authorities and Indian rabies experts who have guided, shaped and invested in this project to allow it to flourish. Without their expert advice and guidance, it would not be in the position it is today. It is a privilege for the charity to be a part of this project with them. Dr Desai, Director of AHVS Goa, gave a knockout presentation at the APRICON in Delhi last month and it was wonderful for the MR work to feature so much in this.


Below is a blog from Wadima this month. Wadima is a vet student from the UAE who travelled to Ooty to undergo the surgical training having read about the courses online. Absolutely fantastic and thanks to Wadima for her enthusiasm and support.


In Dr G’s words – July has been an interesting and variegated month at the ITC! The Thai team have been consistently outstanding this year. Thanks to their incredible work ethic and team spirit, the ITC has flourished under the leadership of Ian, with Dr G directing a brilliant veterinary team. The Thai ITC did a fun run this month – including a super half marathon!!! Over 1,200 participants turned out to support the centre. I think that speaks volumes for all they are achieving and the pride it brings to WVS.


A typically great report by Dagmar is below with some amazing rescue stories.

Please see the below the buzzing mail I received from Paul and Debs this week:

“Turning to the progress in the field: it is awesome out there. After a stunning city campaign, I was a bit anxious to follow that act, but it is all coming up roses. Our new sensitization officers are taking that passion that made the city campaign so successful and bringing that same energy to the district. We are well over our typical daily average of vaccinations given and have been breaking all of our own records. Yesterday we vaccinated over 700 animals in just one day! Everybody is getting a Fanta... For district work, that is a pretty amazing number.

Here is the breakdown of our month's work, as just the numbers go: Week one - 1,647; Week two - 1,653; Week three - 2,044; Week four - 1,550 (up to Wednesday). This gives us a grand total of 6,894 animals vaccinated this month (not counting Thursday and Friday's data).

All the teams are doing great and working hard out there every day. Our education teams have been pulling in some amazing stats, as well. Even with the start of the holidays they were able to visit 37 schools before they closed for the season, two of which were secondary schools. There were 29,316 learners and 446 teachers educated during those weeks. Outside of the school visits there were 7,795 adults and 4,948 children sensitized against the dangers of rabies.

We are all keeping extremely busy and rocking this year, so far.  The nerd in me can't wait to put it all on a map to see the amazing coverage!”

Other news

The app paper is out! Congratulations to Andy. You can read about its amazing work online:

Welcome to the team, Nicky and Emma!!!! Nicky has joined us as our International Education Manager and will be spearheading the Young Vets initiative with WVS which promises to be super exciting. Emma has joined us as International Research Manager and will be working closely with Andy to drive forward our research and streamlining our projects so they keep being as practical and impactful as we push on.

The Apricon conference in Delhi was a big event this month and a huge congratulations to our very own Dr Gowri who won the prize for the best presentation. Andy’s report is below.

A sincere thanks to Dr Thomas Muller (Friedrich-Loefler Institut), Dr Ad Vos (IDT) and Dr Crystal Gigante (CDC) for their immense support with MR Goa. The oral bait trail and nanopore sequencing is amazing progression for the project and their encouragement, training and support is a boost to us all.

Andy also helped run the workshop in Bangladesh with Dr Ryan Wallace (Lead, Rabies Field Services, CDC) which is an honour for us to be involved with and shows how the app is spreading out in international projects.

As always, an immense and heartfelt thanks to Dogs Trust, MSD Animal Health, The Marchig Trust and all our incredible sponsors and supporters who enable us to keep powering on.

I will wrap up this epic report now but please do have a look at this timeline of Mission Rabies that has been put together by the team - thanks especially to Adriana for her genius and hard work in creating it: