Mission Rabies began their Malawi project in Blantyre in 2015. A hospital in the city had reported the highest number of child rabies deaths anywhere in Africa. Children are at high risk of dog bites and contracting rabies. Forty percent of reported rabies cases worldwide are children under the age of fifteen.
Before Mission Rabies arrived, thousands of dogs were killed every year in an attempt to prevent the disease spreading but this was hugely ineffective. Mission Rabies are showing that mass vaccination of dogs is the way to eliminate the disease, as well as being more humane.
Rabies most often persists in poor communities. If the risks are widely understood and appropriate dog bite treatment is well known – rabies is 100% preventable. Mass canine vaccination will rid an area of rabies, but this takes time during which communities remain at risk – whilst working to eliminate the disease, education helps save lives.
The target is to vaccinate 90,000 dogs each year.
Dogs Trust Worldwide supports Mission Rabies to carry out mass vaccination campaigns across Blantyre, Zomba and Chiradzulu with a target to vaccinate 90,000 dogs each year (achieving a 70% coverage rate in those areas).
Mission Rabies educational sessions are also supported by Dogs Trust Worldwide, aimed at empowering children, their teachers, and their families with the knowledge to protect themselves from bites, preventing rabies and saving lives. Creating communities who know how to protect themselves from rabies and who act to support rabies control.
children have been reached via the education programme
In 2013 Mission Rabies launched in India – a hotspot for rabies, where a third of all human cases occur. Dogs Trust Worldwide supports the mass vaccination drives in Goa, education of more than 120,000 children every year in rabies awareness, a rabies surveillance system set up by Mission Rabies in collaboration with local government and the Mission Rabies Truck which travels around India delivering training to local vets, outreach programmes, neutering services, and vaccinating dogs against rabies.
India has a massive amount of street dogs but there is a lack of well-trained vets to care for and treat them. In order to address this issue, we have partnered with Worldwide Veterinary Service since 2012 to develop and run an International Training Centre (ITC), in Ooty, India, to deliver a range of training courses in surgical sterilisation techniques to local and international veterinary surgeons, veterinary students and para-vets. In 2017, we increased our support to help run an additional ITC in Goa so we could train even more vets, to help improve the veterinary care and treatment provided to dogs across India and around the world.