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Luke's September Monthly Update

Thu 5th Oct 2017

Dear Team,

Ranchi free rabies and LOADS of life-saving trips and parcels made September a whirlwind month! Below is a summary of the amazing achievements in the last 30 days!

Parcels and Volunteers

88 parcels dispatched, wholesale value totalling £36,365.34. We have had teams in India, Thailand, Bulgaria, Grenada, Costa Rica, Gambia, Botswana, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Romania. There have been back to back courses at the ITCs in Ooty, Goa, Thailand and on the truck in Ranchi!!!


Gareth has compiled the attached knockout report summarising the September education outreach. The top line stat is over 400,000 children rabies educated across our project sites in the last nine months.


Mission Rabies Goa – Over 6,600 vaccinations in Sept, six positive rabies cases picked up and still no human deaths this year. The teams couldn’t be working harder. Meetings with the Chief Minister were incredibly encouraging and it was fantastic to see such a pledge of support for this project moving forwards. A huge thanks to Professor Colin Burrows and the Rotary for coming on board with this campaign, with a donation of three vehicles for the project. Amazing!!!!

Ranchi was the focus of this year's World Rabies Day. Praveen and his team have been utterly outstanding and there have been no human rabies cases in the city for the last 18 months thanks to the DT MR project! The recent workshops and meetings are detailed in the report. A sincere thanks to the Ranchi Government for their incredible support in running this project which is yielding amazing results. Ranchi is an oasis in the state of Jharkhand with regard to rabies elimination. This was only possible because of the leadership of the Ranchi Government and their commitment to the teams on the ground. This year's results are now having a ripple effect in the rest of the region.

India – Ooty ITC – A great month and Ilona’s report is attached. Thanks to the support of WTG and the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Trust, plans are afoot to set up a working equine programme to help the abandoned and abused horses as well as donkeys on the streets of Ooty. It is also important to say a sincere thanks to Dr Vinay and the team for manning the truck these past five weeks in Ranchi. They are doing outstanding work, spending time away from their families, and are a huge credit to the charity and the team.

Sri Lanka

Attached is Mark and Sam’s report from the 2017 Mission Rabies Sri Lanka vaccination drive. They introduced a number of different methods of vaccine delivery  to trial some new ideas and operated a Dogstar spay neuter clinic in partnership with solid results.

Highlights: 4523 dogs vaccinated and 40 cats , overall resight surveys of 79.76% ( all dogs ) and 78.18% roaming dogs and 427 dogs and 40 cats sterilised. 


Please see the below from Dr G:

4th – 8th September 3rd Pai Mobile Clinic

"Our team went up in Pai for the third time this year, operating 168 animals and reaching the goal of over 1000 surgeries performed in Pai.

This time the team was lead by Khun Fon and Khun Guy, and had Dr Stacy (WVS India), Dr Poppy (WVS Thailand) and Dr Vicky (volunteer) as vets. One of our junior vet, Dr Pim, went along and helped with all the general settings and everyday tasks.

11th – 22nd September, 10th ITC Course

"With 13 participants and three international vet volunteers, it has been crowded over here!

"Fortunately Dr Jackie, Dr Asta and Dr Kate were very competent and reliable, so with their presence in the theatre (and with the invaluable help of Dr Stacy), I have been able to deal with other managerial/organizational work."

"All the participants and vet volunteers left positive feedback with us. Dr Asta seemed to be particularly impressed and even decided to come back here in October, instead of continuing to volunteer in Lanta."

"Sadly this was the Dr Stacy's last mont. She has been an amazing help for the past three months. Her dedication, competence and professionalism was outstanding and enthusiasm had a HUGE impact on the Thai vets as well."


The annual PARACON meetings and workshops were held from September 13 to 15 in Pretoria. Governmental, veterinary and health representatives were represented from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Sierra Leone. Dr Chulu and Dagmar represented Malawi with great success and to much applause for the amazing work of DAHLD (Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development) in leading the Mission Rabies campaign for Malawi.

The BSPCA clinic is busy as always, and Dr Jo (International veterinary projects manager) and the MSD Fellows are starting to collect their findings from the Haemonchus study in the goats. It is an exciting time to see the One Mission project delivering exciting results.

Dagmar’s report on her excellent work this month is attached.

Paul’s report is below:

"I'm amazed how fast the time has passed during the district campaign. We just keep getting those teams out the door, day in and day out. Over the span of these past four weeks, we have administered 7,445 vaccines across Six Extension Planning Areas.  We are starting to get out into the really remote reaches of Zomba.  

"The teams are working together extremely well as we push across the last bit of rural Zomba District for some education and vaccination drivesThe District Commissioner gave us free use of the ministry's motorboat this year which definitely saved on time as last year we took local fishing boats across which weren't much more than leaky dinghys powered by long push-poles. Chisi Island is a corner of Zomba that is rarely visited by other aid organisations and the residents are very appreciative of our work. We brought in more teams this year as we anticipated to do more vaccinations because they regularly bring in dogs from the mainland for hunting."

"Last week I responded to a call for a suspected rabies case in a goat in Chingale EPA, a two hour drive down dusty backroads heading deep into the rift valley to the banks of the Shire River.  I recovered the head from the goatherd that reported it to the village chief and brought it to Blantyre for testing.  It came back positive, first on the lateral-flow and then later on dFAT.  While I was explaining to the AVO the results (so that he could inform the Group Village Headman to make sure that the surrounding villages are informed) he told me that the reason the goatherd identified the symptoms and knew who to report them to, was our sensitization in the area.  It warms my heart every time I hear a story like this! It's a spectacular thing that we can actually have a positive impact all the way out there.  The dog that originally bit that goat was not available for a sample but thankfully did not have any reported contact with humans before it was euthanised." 

All in all, another busy and exciting month.  We have the post-vaccination surveys planned for the next two weeks to double-check our coverage and then we can wrap up the district campaign until next year and get ready to head over to support Goa!

Other news

A big thanks to Professor Charles Rupprecht (Wistar Institute), Dr Gongal (WHO), Ingrid Deuzeman (Global Marketing Director MSD Animal Health) and Caroline Allenden (Veterinary Nurse Coordinator, Dogs Trust) for their expert advice and huge support in Ranchi. It was a massive honour for us to host them and showcase our projects in Goa and Ranchi. Their support for Mission Rabies is invaluable and massively appreciated.

October promises to be action packed month and with the focused mass drive in Goa due to launch, it’s FULL POWER AHEAD!!!!!!!

ROCK ON!!!!!!!!