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Luke's November Update!

Thu 6th Dec 2018

December is here!!! The end of the year is close – 2017 records to smash!!! AMAZING work this last month. Thank you to all the team and our supporters.

Below are the top headlines:

Parcels and Volunteer Teams

103 parcels sent out this last month valuing £29,069

Teams deployed to Malawi, Tanzania, Ghana, Botswana, Bolivia, South Africa and Grenada.

We have run two surgical training courses in Thailand and additionally a brilliantly received orthopaedic specialist course by Dr Rob Pettitt from Liverpool Vet School. Two courses were run in Goa, one in Ooty and the working equine team (Dr Aswin, Ilona and Emma) have been in Tanzania, training and working with the local vets. Mission Rabies additionally conducted the planning trips to Ghana and Bolivia respectively. The aim is for us to have trained over 700 vets this year through the ITCs so one month to go!


Gareth’s report is below. Blantyre District completed!!!!! We are also on the cusp of reaching one million children rabies educated in India alone – which is an incredible achievement by a very focused and dedicated education team!


Below is Praveen’s report on Ranchi. Sadly the canine rabies surveillance team picked up a rabid dog this last month. This doesn’t bode well regarding a return of rabies in the human population of Ranchi city and we all hope the Government recognise the dangers of this and urgently support vaccination and surveillance efforts so the teams can be reactivated.


Two amazing reports below. The Hicks have managed 804 surgeries this last month, treated 361 patients, rescued over 147 animals and facilitated 42 adoptions!!! What a team!

Julie and the awesome Mission Rabies team vaccinated 9.868 dogs last month and now it’s all out to get the 95,000 vaccinations completed by December 31st. There is definitely a thing with squirrels this last month - Julie’s team rescued one in Goa and as you’ll see from Dagmar’s report there was also a squirrel epic in Malawi! Julie also attended the FIAPO conference in Delhi last month which was brilliant of her and she did a great job!

Thank you as ever to the Goan Government for driving the project on and showcasing how human rabies elimination in India is 100% achievable.


Dr G has written an outstanding report as ever! A huge thanks to Dr Pettitt from Liverpool for running the orthopaedic course, but a very special and sincere thanks to Sound who have donated a digital x-ray machine and generator to the ITC. The value and worth of this is phenomenal – not only does it provide the ITC with a desperately needed resource, but equipment of this standard serves to inspire all the vets coming through the centre. It supports the local vets, raises the standards of care we can offer the animals and has given all of us an incredible boost, so a massive thank you to Sound and watch this space as the case reports start powering through!


Whilst Paul and Debs have been in Bolivia and Jo in Ghana, Dagmar has been running the show in Malawi! The clinic also saw its first Giant African Squirrel attend. Sadly, not the outcome we hoped for but great to see how the reputation of the BSPCA keeps growing and that it is the go-to place for all animal welfare issues in the region!

A huge and very sincere thanks to Professor Neil Sargison and Nick Blayney who once again visited Malawi, worked with Jo and the BSPCA to deliver some brilliant AVO training with regards to the One Mission project. It is very exciting to see this aspect of our work developing and the increasing scope of what we can achieve across species and diseases.

Other news

Lots of meetings, grant proposals, talks and strategy discussions as we build up to the end of the year. A big thanks to Ryan from CDC for his continued support and also to Merck / MSD Animal Health for their continued unwavering belief in Mission Rabies and what we can collaboratively achieve.

The WVS and MR teams attended New York and London Vet Shows this last month and it was great to see the passion and enthusiasm from so many of our volunteers and supporters. The team at Edinburgh University also attended the big epidemiology conference in Chiang Mai this last month. Stella presented her poster on the rabies work and it was very well received by all accounts. The Edinburgh team are the cornerstone of Mission Rabies and driving the scientific credibility of what we are trying to achieve so a huge thanks to Richard and the team there as ever.

We’ve also now launched the Young Vets Club initiative so please have a look here: Should any children you know be interested in working with animals one day – this is the club for them! As part of the membership they get to adopt an animal, get regular updates on how it’s doing, as well as a goody bag and are kept up to date with all the WVS missions around the world! A perfect Christmas present!

I’m currently writing this from a meeting in Vermont in the US – and the snow has to be seen to be believed!!! 

Rock on!!!