A few weeks ago, my sister Helen, spent two weeks in India neutering street dogs as part of a veterinary training course. This course was run by the Worldwide Veterinary Service in conjunction with the Mission Rabies Charity. Across the world, 100 children die from Rabies EVERY DAY! This charity is changing that.
The course trained student vets in surgical skills, whilst also benefiting and providing a necessary service for the local community. I was completely oblivious to how crucial work like this is, and also how endemic Rabies is in countries like India is. Helen has kindly put some really useful insights and information together below that I find so eye opening – you would be horrified by the effects of Rabies. Anyone with a passion for animals, or interested in the field of veterinary medicine (as a student or non-student) might find this interesting.
Here is everything that you need to know about the charity. I think that being aware of very special causes like this is so important, so I hope that you find it useful. Thanks Helen! xo
What is Mission Rabies?
Mission Rabies is a charity which was founded as a project of Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) in 2013 with one aim, eliminate dog bite transmitted rabies through a research driven One Health approach. Since 2015, Mission Rabies is a charity in its own right.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease which occurs in more than 150 countries and territories. Rabies is almost always fatal following the onset of clinical symptoms. In up to 99% of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to humans. It is spread to people through bites or scratches, usually via saliva.
Why is it Important?
Every year, millions of healthy dogs are inhumanely killed for fear of this deadly disease. However, this doesn’t halt the spread of rabies, which causes the deaths of around 59,000 people a year – the majority of which are children under 15.
Zero by 30 is the global strategic plan to end human deaths from dog-medicated rabies by 2030 formulated by the United Against Rabies collaboration. It guides and supports countries as they develop and implement their national rabies elimination plans that embrace the concepts of One-health and cross-sectoral collaboration.
Simply put, everyone. It benefits the entire community, from the free roaming dog population and to the international animal lovers, which is where I came in. As a fourth year veterinary student, I had heard about the WVS through other students but never anticipated the how much good one charity could do.
The Hicks International Training Centre (ITC), Goa offers veterinary care, neutering’s and vaccinations against rabies to animals in need. It also provides work for many young men and women and runs surgical training courses for eager inexperienced vets such as myself!
How it Works:
The challenge is to make Goa a rabies free state! This is being done through a combined effort of the catching teams working alongside the WVS neutering teams. Where free roaming (stray) dogs are caught and either brought back to The Hicks Centre for neutering or are vaccinated on site.
In 2018, there was no recorded deaths due to rabies, however this doesn’t mean that the efforts should lessen, but that we should keep striving to have results like this all over the world!
How You Can Help:
If this cause is something that interests or appeals to you then you can support it with a small monthly or once off donation, or if you want to go a step further (and advance your veterinary skills such as I did) you can volunteer in one of the centres as they all need vets, vet nurses, vet students and non-vets to join throughout the year to deliver more live-saving vaccines. For more information on how to help, visit http://www.missionrabies.com/get-involved/
Or for more information on the project itself visit http://www.missionrabies.com/.