NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Cranborne, Dorset, United Kingdom, 2013/08/29 - Mission Rabies is leading the fight against rabies in India. Launching on 1st Sep., the three-year campaign pledges vaccinate fifty-thousand dogs in twelve of India’s worst affected areas during the first thirty days of the project - MissionRabies.com.
India is the world’s rabies hot spot, with over a third of reported human cases occurring there and someone dying every 30 minutes as a result of this terrible disease. Children from poor and marginal communities are the most affected, and over 99% of human cases are the result of dog bites.
In response to these statistics, hundreds of thousands of dogs are indiscriminately and inhumanely killed every year across India, but these efforts have been shown to be ineffective at controlling the disease and, in some cases, can even increase the spread. Mission Rabies will change this by vaccinating at least 70% of the canine population in rabies endemic areas, a proportion necessary for control of the disease in both dogs and humans, according to WHO guidelines.
The team is headed up by Luke Gamble, CEO of Worldwide Veterinary Service and founder of the Mission Rabies initiative, with Dogs Trust as the key international sponsor. Collaboration with many Indian veterinary and animal welfare organizations, including Blue Cross of India and Animal Welfare Board of India, will ensure sustainability of the rabies control efforts for years to come.
Kate Shervell, International Director of Mission Rabies, outlines the future; “it is envisaged that this will kick-start not only a three-year campaign of sustained vaccination, targeting a total of 2 million dogs in India, but also provide surgical training for long-term animal birth control (ABC) programmes to tackle the problem of street dog overpopulation”. The project will set up the country’s first India National Rabies Network, supplying subsidised, effective vaccines nationwide and recording their usage so that mapping of vaccination coverage across India will become a reality.
The initiative will be supported by a highly equipped and customised Mercedes Zetros 6x6, the world’s most high-tech, all-terrain, self-sufficient mobile veterinary hospital vehicle, which has been generously sponsored by Dogs Trust and is fully equipped to run training programmes and outreach campaigns in any location in India.
Mission Rabies (missionrabies.com) launches in Goa on 1st September and will deliver 50,000 doses of canine rabies vaccine at locations across Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Rajasthan, culminating in Assam for World Rabies Day on 28th September.