Globally, at least one child dies from rabies every nine minutes, not to mention countless animals. This is tragic considering that rabies is 100% preventable. Mission Rabies, a charity set up by WSAVA One Health Award winner Dr Luke Gamble, has been supported by the WSAVA’s charitable Foundation in its efforts to tackle rabies since 2013. The charity has just finished several wide-scale vaccination drives in Zomba and Blantyre, Malawi. Further projects this year include a focus on the Negombo region of Sri Lanka, as well as the annual 100,000 dog vaccination drive to help eliminate of rabies from the entire Indian state of Goa.
Thanks to efforts spearheaded by WSAVA Immediate Past President Professor Colin Burrows, who is also a Trustee of Mission Rabies USA, three Rotary Clubs in Gainesville, Florida and the WSAVA Foundation, Mission Rabies has recently been the beneficiary of a significant grant from The Rotary Foundation, a global organization based in the USA. The grant, organized in partnership with the Panaji Mid Town Rotary Club in Goa, is supporting vehicle purchases and driver salaries for Mission Rabies’ vaccination project in Goa.
Luke Gamble says: "Mission Rabies is indebted to the WSAVA Foundation, the WSAVA and both Professor Burrows and The Rotary Foundation for their incredible support. Their grant will provide a dedicated Goa State rabies response team which will have a huge impact on empowering the state-wide effort to eliminate the disease. Surveillance and response are a huge part of the sustainability of the project moving forward, and without this type of support, it would be impossible."
WSAVA Foundation Chair Dr Gabriel Varga says: “Thanks to our Fun(d) Runs, more and more of our colleagues around the world are learning about the vital work of Mission Rabies. During this year’s WSAVA World Congress, we will be inviting pet owners to join in our Fun(d) Run for the first time. They will be able to run (or walk!) with their vets – and their pets - to help to save lives!”
Professor Burrows says: “I would like to see many Rotary Clubs from around the world come together to support the work of Mission Rabies. Our grant is, I hope, but the first step in a long and successful journey to reach the WSAVA’s and the OIE’s goal to eliminate human rabies in Africa and India by 2030.”