Education on rabies awareness

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Luke's October Report

Mon 31st Oct 2016

Volunteer Teams and parcels

Charities were sent a cumulative total of 53 parcels valued at £31,598.13 of medical supplies and equipment. Teams were in Malawi, Costa Rica, Grenada, Carriacou, India (Ooty and Goa), Thailand and Greece.

India

Ranchi and Khunti – Praveen’s team have worked exceptionally hard as ever. October is a month of festivals and (well-deserved) holidays throughout much of India but the results are impressive as always. Please see the attached report. It is great to read about the new education officer bolstering Shakti’s team, the pictures are excellent and very encouraging to see there are still no human rabies deaths reported in Ranchi this year to date. All wards have now been covered in the city (two months ahead of schedule!!!!!)

India – ITC – please find attached Ilona’s monthly report on the activities of WVS India. A brilliant report and outstanding work as ever. Please note some of the pictures are a touch graphic so be careful where you open this…(!)

Truck + GOA!!! – there has been a huge focus on Goa by both charities this month. Please find attached Dagmar’s excellent report about the outstanding work of the WVS teams based at the Hicks International Training Centre and at the Truck. Wonderful to see both bases working so well and synergistically supporting the mega vaccination drive by the tireless MR teams.

The Goa Rabies drive spearheaded by Andy, Nigel, Jo and Julie vaccinated a total of 11,185 dogs. As we all appreciate, obtaining these type of numbers in India is no mean feat and requires huge heart from a very dedicated and capable team.

A section of Andy’s summary mail the other day is copied below:

“It has been a fantastic effort by the whole team who have continued to show that mass dog vaccination can be done on a huge scale, given the will, grit and determination to make a difference to animal and human welfare. We have had a great group of volunteers on the project who I'm sure will all be returning home and spreading the word of the work being done here. A huge thank you to Julie, Gowri and Jo who have been in the field every day driving the project forward and implementing the difficult job of reaching every dog possible, as well as undertaking their own responsibilities in project, rabies case and volunteer management respectively.

Having the concurrent WVS campaign has once again proved to work well in conjunction with the vaccination campaign. On behalf of the Mission Rabies team I'd like to thank Ishan, Karlette and Dagmar for their support and hard work over the last month -  I know that every single dog that our teams bring in to the clinics translates into an enormous amount of work for WVS - case management, communication, repeated anaesthetics, treatments, dressings, kennel cleaning, feeding and difficult ethical and personal decisions around euthanasia. It is amazing to see the impact that has been achieved by working together. There are many challenges and the cases are endless, but we are all in the same team and working towards the same goals of upholding animal welfare with the limited resources at our disposal. In the short term please work with Mission Rabies to make sure the cases remaining at Hicks are resolved as best as possible.

The education campaign continues to evolve and Niki has been working refine the schedule and ensure that schools are covered in regions immediately before vaccination. There is enormous potential in the project here in Goa for us to transform the approach to rabies control and dog population management in India. Challenges and difficulties are inevitable in this line of work, but the team is everything and we must do everything we can to support each other at every step of the way.”

Thailand

October was a busy month for the rescue clinic with 36 rescue cases! The team additionally successfully rehomed 7 dogs.

The below is from Jamie, the Operations Director in Thailand – pics attached:

One rescue case in particular was challenging to get to.  We were notified of a dog suffering with TVT for over one year with a new litter of puppies that made a den underneath a building at Chiang Mai University.  The short video below documents our dog catching team in action where they successfully rescued the mum with TVT and her litter of puppies.  She has received her first week of treatment and we are confident for a full recovery.

Thanks to the help of two vet volunteers this month the ITC sterilized and vaccinated 187 animals which includes a 5 day outreach clinic in Pai.  The team also treated many dogs with infected wombs.  The Pai community was extremely grateful for our work during the clinic and the team was greeted each morning with homemade baked goods.  In addition to the outreach clinic we also held a 3-day Anesthesia Specialist Course for 8 participants with Dr. Louise Clark from Davies Veterinary Specialists.  We received excellent feedback from the participants who found the course both informative and inspiring. 

Dagmar heads over to Thailand on Wednesday to help set up the project on cat island Koh Yao Yai. Dr Vinay is also heading from the ITC in Ooty to oversee the next international training course and build the relations between our international ITC’s.

Malawi

Blantyre Rural and Chriadzulu:

The 26th October was the very last day of vaccinating in Chiradzulu! The teams have whizzed (thoroughly) through all three EPA's and have finished a good month before we had estimated. They have done a fantastic job, and have done a total of 14,593 dogs (just over when all figures are synced).

The education teams have also had some time to go back to 12 of the schools we missed during the winter holidays in July/August, which is great! The education team have now educated a total of 45,087 children plus 824 teachers in this district! An extra 5,355 adults and children were sensitized during this time as well (outside of school classes).

Post Vac surveys (vaccine card sweeps) will the proceed in Chiradzulu in the middle of November. Everyone is crossing fingers we have reached the 70% target!

In Blantyre district – Tarryn informed me that the teams have now done over 135,947 vaccinations since the project began! The rural campaign is going very well this year and perhaps because of our work within the communities, the teams are starting to reach a lot more dogs as word has spread. This year 16,518 dogs have been vaccinated in the rural areas (more than we did last year) and we still have three weeks to go! That said, Tarryn thinks her teams are set to finish the district a bit earlier than expected, and the main reason for this sis an improved mapping system which has helped the logistics significantly. The big advantage to this is that we have more time to do the post-vac surveys in the outlying areas before the rains make the roads too bad.

Zomba Rural:  

Last week Paul’s Zomba teams celebrated having administered 30,000 vaccines in the city and district campaign in the last few months. It is staggering. 7,762 were given to dogs in the first three weeks of October.  By Wednesday this week, the teams will have completed another three EPAs (Chingale, Thondwe, and Ngwelero) - leaving only the last two EPAs left!  The attached satellite image shows the areas covered by the campaign to date 

The plan for the final few weeks is to bring in some additional teams to gather survey data whilst the others clean up the last couple corners of the map.  Tarryn, Andy, and Paul have been planning out the best approach to this and implementation will start in the next couple of days.

Other news

MSD Animal Health have offered to help sponsor a project building on Eithne and Professor Neil Sargison’s outstanding work in Malawi. This will allow us to drive forward the One Mission Concept which seeks to tackle multiple infectious diseases and welfare issues utilising a common core infrastructure and strategy of implementation. Watch this space!

Ilona and Nigel attended FIAPO and Ilona gave a great presentation about the work of the ITC (clinical aspects associated with effective ABC projects).

Fred presented at RITA in Brazil and thanks very much to Professor Charles Rupprecht for his support and help in this.

Very best and thanks again for all your fantastic hard work this month. Ever onwards!!!

Luke