Luke's June Update!

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Luke's June Update!

Tue 3rd Jul 2018

We're over half way through 2018 and our projects have been achieving some incredible stuff this June!! 

Parcels and Volunteer Teams

  • 65 parcels dispatched, valuing £51,223.34
  • Teams have been in Malawi, Botswana, Costa Rica, South Africa, Romania, Grenada, India and Thailand.
  • We have run two surgical training courses in Goa, three in Ooty (two surgical training and one working equine), and one in Thailand.


Our focus this month was on the Zomba city campaign in Malawi with our sister charity Mission Rabies. We reached 25,499 children in schools and 20,157 adults through community sensitisation, which is a new record for this project and the team have excelled themselves. We reached 17,000 more children and 12,000 more adults than any previous year. Please have a scan of Gareth’s great report. The grand total figure for children educated now stands at £1,961,599 so we are close to the big 2 million mark!!


Praveen’s excellent report is below. Over 1,000 vaccinations and sterilisations, and the education stats are fantastic. It is a continuing shame we haven’t managed to win the Government over to support the vaccinations after three years of such intense effort and results, but thankfully human rabies cases in Ranchi are still zero. It will be tragic if they come back but hopefully the Government will be encouraged to step in before that happens.


Hicks and Truck Training:

The outstanding work at the Hicks ITC is powering on as ever. Please see this month’s great report by Karlette outlining the work of the truck so far this year. It has been powering on for four years now and is still the most incredible tool in training vets in the field on how to run humane sterilisation programmes during outreach campaigns. 

A state of the art 27 tonne Mercedes zetros with in-built operating theatre, oxygen generator, x-ray, ultrasound and lab – it never fails to inspire, motivate and train the vets that undertake the truck courses! Equipped with its own generator and huge in-built water tanks, being six-wheel drive, it can get to the most remote locations and set up anywhere. Thanks to Dogs Trust, we have been able to work the truck throughout India over the last four years without any pause or break in its schedule of operation.

Mission Rabies Goa:

6,140 dogs this month. The monsoon has made it fairly grim for the teams but their determination has once again powered through. Thank you to Julie for such a great summary and so exciting to read about the implementation of the IBCM system we have introduced to the state, thanks to the guidance and support of CDC. 

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.


An outstanding report by Ilona is below, covering the surgical training (24 vets trained this month) and working equine course. Of note, a huge congratulations to Sam and Dr Cathrina on their wedding and wishing them every happiness. What a fantastic picture!


Dr G’s report is a double whammy this month covering May and June. Thanks hugely to Amy and Praveen for heading over to Thailand and assisting with the rabies vaccination drive. It was a phenomenal success, working with the local Thai Government and spearheaded by Thai vets, we vaccinated over 2,500 dogs in Mae Rim, north of Chiang Mai. The purpose was to showcase utilisation of the app in developing a strategically viable method of project implementation that was not only economically robust but achieved the 70% minimum vaccination coverage in targeted areas.


On the back of the outstanding Blantyre city drive (over 34,000 dogs in 12 working days), it has been all syringes blazing in Zomba.

Outstanding work by Paul, Debs, Jo, Dagmar, Fred and the outstanding team who have driven this project and a sincere thanks to Dogs Trust for giving us the opportunity to run such a great programme with them. Here’s Paul’s summary of the campaign:

“Hello everybody, 

I am proud to say that I have the preliminary end of project figures for the Zomba 2018 City Campaign! We are just speechless at the work that our teams have been able to complete during the last few weeks. This is an amazing way to kick off 2018 for Mission Rabies Zomba. 

To get down to brass tacks, as the numbers go, we have done more vaccinations than ever in Zomba city. This can be attributed to both stepping up sensitization methods in a couple different ways and also probably an unexpected surge in the dog population. Our improved sensitization methods include new outreach to places of worship, a brand new approach to sensitization by involving already existing youth networks, increased focus on partnerships with city ward councillors and the Zomba city executive council, and of course the brilliant sponsorship of TNM with their help sending out text messages for the second week. All of this new sensitization led us to net gains of static point attendance of 9% to 12% increases over last year during the first week and during the second week a whopping 42% and 24% increase on the respective days compared to last year's numbers. Out of the about 9,000 vaccines administered, over 8,600 were to the dog population. To give a reference of scale for that number: our highest number of vaccines given to date was in 2016, where we administered 8,100 doses to dogs and cats combined. Post vaccination surveys will begin next week, but the numbers are already very promising.

Last but not least, we had one of the best groups of volunteers I have had the sincere pleasure to spend two weeks with. They truly enhanced the experience for Debs, myself, and all of the local staff - and they left with some truly great stories to bring home. The volunteer group was headed by a Mission Rabies alum, Jessie Foley from Clinician's Brief / Brief Media, who was an invaluable player in the volunteer coordination. It was a spectacular trip all around and I couldn't be more pleased with the results.”

Other news

Andy is heading to Goa and Bangladesh, joining Dr Murugan and Dr Gowri at the APCRI conference to represent our Goa project under the direction of the Goan Government this month. We also have a delegation of VIPs visiting the Goa project directly afterwards, and a thanks to CDC for their ongoing support and inspiration in driving some key aspects of the project. The nanopore sequencing is very ‘crest of the wave’ stuff and fantastic for MR and WVS to be a part of this work in India.

Temperatures in the UK are currently knockout (for the UK!!!), so in true British fashion, I plan to seize the moment and hit the paddling pool……watch out for the splash.

ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!