After landing in Goa yesterday, along with our Education Officer, Niki, we met up with Julie and the rest of the team today for a series of training sessions to make sure everyone was set for vaccinating tomorrow.
The vaccination teams work in every corner of the state, often finding themselves moving through thick bush in pursuit of dogs. Therefore the first session was delivered by a local snake handler about the snakes that the teams may encounter whilst vaccinating dogs. We were interested to learn that of the 36 species of snake in Goa, only four are venomous, but everyone felt more confident of what to do in the event of a bite.
Most of the staff on the project are long-term employees, but we do have some new faces for the mass campaign, and so next we went through what rabies is and how to stay safe in the field. The videos of clinical symptoms in dogs were a reminder to us all why we work so hard at this. After a quick break to take individual photos for their ID badges, Dr Gowri finished off with a session on correct dog handling and animal welfare, which was perfectly delivered in Hindi (not her native tongue).
The management team then gathered for a final logistics meeting, which was traditionally chaotic and enjoyable in equal measures. We have a busy week ahead in preparation for the launch event on 3rd October and the teams getting going with vaccination from tomorrow.
We would like to say a big thank you to our friends at Welfare for Animals in Goa for helping us to arrange the snake training and Syed for a fantastic session.
WeâÂÂll keep you posted as momentum builds towards World Rabies Day and beyond!