Luke's October Update!

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Luke's October Update!

Fri 2nd Nov 2018

Dear Team,

October has gone in the blink of an eye. Outstanding work on multiple fronts! I think the showcase this month has to be the incredible teams in Goa. For the first time, I got a real sense of how far we have come with the projects out there. Under the guidance and direction from the Department of Animal Husbandry, we’ve now had 12 months without a single human rabies death in the entire State and no canine rabies cases for three months straight. It’s been a solid four years to get to this point – but I think all of us can see how this can build and expand. Extremely inspiring!!

Below are the headline updates from this month and the brilliant reports by the respective project leaders. Let’s keep rocking!

Parcels and Volunteer Teams

98 parcels (!) fired out this last month valuing £46,976.28.

  • Teams have been in Malawi, Romania, Botswana, Bolivia, and Grenada.
  • We have run two surgical training courses in Goa, additional to the international Mission Rabies drive event this month, three in Ooty and two in Thailand!


Gareth’s report is below. 92,467 children received rabies education last month – a staggering result and excellent work by the outstanding education teams.


Below is Praveen’s report on Ranchi. The Ranchi Government have now intimated they wish to fund a vaccination team and ensure no canine rabies returns to the city! Hugely exciting and this is in response to the Ranchi programme being mentioned in a WHO bulletin. Sincere thanks to Dr Gongal for his guidance and support with our projects and Dr Bernadette for her overarching steer with how we develop and progress.


Both Mission Rabies under Julie and Gowri and the Hicks under Karlette have gone the extra mile this month. The reports below summarise outstanding work (over 12,000 vaccinations!!), rescues, treatments and results. Personally speaking, the visit to Goa this month was totally inspiring. Thanks particularly to Adrian, Clarissa, Philip and Phil for visiting the project and energising us so much.


Dr G has written a typically uplifting report. WVS Thailand reliably prove themselves to be a force for good each and every month. The rescues, results and commitment of the team keep the growth of the centre powering forwards and striving towards its potential. The delegation from Burma was a landmark event for the team and things look very promising to expand the work there, working in close collaboration with the Burmese Vet Association accordingly. Thanks to Craig and Catherine from Dogs Trust for visiting the centre and to Dr Anita Patel for running a specialist course there this month.


Dagmar’s report is below. It’s brilliant and over 16,700 dogs were vaccinated in the Chiradzulu District this year – 2,000 more than last year and it seems the post-vac survey results will show the best ever coverage around the 88% mark. It’s incredible how the communities are now so focused and behind the vaccination campaign!

Paul sent the below about Zomba:

As I reported last month, we ended the district vaccinations with a 4.1% increase in vaccines administered. During the first half of October we ran surveys across all of the rural areas of the district. The result that I have been seeing in my preliminary sorting of the data is that, among adult dogs, we have an average vaccination coverage of 81.87%... which is significantly up from last year's average of about 75%. I am extremely proud of the work accomplished by our field teams this year - it is going to be a very hard act to follow!

We concurrently ran an education extension programme with the goal of hitting a number of the schools that were unavoidably missed during the school holidays. The reports coming from the education side are painting this extension as a screaming success. Below are the results from Debs' report on the Zomba education expansion:

Goal: Deliver the education lesson to 35,000 children
Result: 47,284 children and 554 teachers were educated
Goal: Reach 44 public primary schools
Result: 46 schools were reached (Of these schools, 7 had never had a visit by Mission Rabies. The remaining 39 had not had a visit since 2016.)

So, in conclusion, I am happy to report only good news on the fight against rabies here in Zomba. This is a bittersweet report because it is once again time to put the project on hold while we wait out the rains. The timing could not be better, though - my teams were being rained on for the last two days of work... the rainy season is just about upon us again.

In other news - plane tickets are bought and hotels booked for Bolivia! I have meetings set up with government officials and a list of local NGOs to go and meet in person. These are very exciting times!”

Other news

A huge a sincere thanks to all our many supporters, sponsors and volunteers who motivate the WVS and MR teams to keep driving things on.

The encouragement and uplift generated by visits to our key project sites from Trustees, key donors and supporters is immense and thank you for this on behalf of the team, especially to all at Dogs Trust who visited several project sites last month - we all feel privileged to be working these projects with you and the opportunities to do so. Thanks also to Professor Argyle and the University of Edinburgh for all the huge support and guidance as our work garners increasing professional credibility through the academic publications steered by Richard and his team.

Fred is currently on his world tour, representing and running projects back-to-back in innumerate countries of the globe and is currently in Argentina - thanks to Dr Rupprecht for his continuing support and guidance as well as the amazing opportunity for MR to participate in RITA this year.

Let’s get to it.

Rock on,