59,000 people a year die of rabies, mostly children in poor communities, and 99% of human rabies cases are caused by an infected dog bite. Hundreds of thousands of dogs are killed every year, attempting to prevent the disease spreading, but culling is inhumane and ineffective. Mass vaccination of dogs is humane, and it is the key to achieving that goal of eliminating rabies.
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, exceeding the annual target of vaccinating 70,000 dogs and a 70% coverage in every key village and ward.Our mobile veterinary unit is transforming the lives of dogs in some of the remotest parts of India.
Mission Rabies also distribute educational material and visit schools to teach children and adults how to understand dogs better so they can avoid dog bites and reduce the risk of rabies. Dogs Trust Worldwide supports this education of more than 120,000 children every year in rabies awareness, as well as a rabies surveillance system set up by Mission Rabies in collaboration with local government.
Dogs Trust Worldwide also provides funding for the Mission Rabies Truck which travels around India; a mobile veterinary clinic delivering training to local vets, outreach programmes, neutering services, and vaccinating dogs against rabies.
children have been reached via the education programme
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.
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. Dogs Trust Worldwide supports Mission Rabies to carry out mass vaccination campaigns across Blantyre, Zomba and Chiradzulu. 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.