2018 has seen us reach some incredible goals and pass some huge milestones! Here are some of our highlights from the year that brings us one step closer to the day when no one dies from rabies!
We started the year with our Tanzania campaign in January, inviting international volunteers to join us in Meru district to vaccinate dogs! Together with local charity Mbwa Wa Africa, we vaccinated an epic 4,789 dogs in just two weeks! A great way to kick off 2018!
February this year saw our education team and animal welfare officers in Malawi take a trip to Cape Maclear and Lake Malawi, running community education in the villages surrounding the lake and conducting vital dog population surveys ahead of a vaccination campaign that took place in April.
One Million Children Educated in Malawi
This April we celebrated the first of many milestones for 2018 – over one million children in Malawi have now received lifesaving rabies lessons to protect themselves from this deadly disease.
Our team and volunteers in Malawi took a more artistic approach to complement the education programme this year, turning blank school walls into incredible murals which showed how to recognise different dog behaviours and what to do if bitten by a dog. The children were so excited when the murals were completed and revealed!!
Pilot Project in Thailand
This year we have increased our collaborative work with our sister charity WVS, in particular, their Thailand centre. We began a pilot rabies project in northern Thailand in May, visiting temple dogs and vaccinating the stray population against rabies as well as educating local government stakeholders on how a systematic vaccination campaign can be implemented here.
Record-Breaking Zomba Campaign
Our work in Malawi has been going from strength to strength and in addition to the large campaign in Blantyre, we also run a vaccination programme in neighbouring Zomba in June. This year, the team surpassed themselves, breaking our existing records for Zomba city and vaccinating an awe-inspiring 8,600 dogs in just two weeks.
App Records One Million Vaccinations
We were excited to not only share the news that our smartphone App has now been used to record over one million dog vaccinations, but this July our research team successfully had a scientific paper published about the use of the app to direct field teams and record vital data, crucial to the success and ongoing improvement of our rabies vaccination campaigns. You can read it here!
Returning to Uganda
July saw us return to Uganda after a year apart. We took a team of awesome volunteers and tackled a new area that was surrounded by beautiful national parks which meant a few game drives and spotting wildlife on the journey to our vaccination points. In total, we managed to vaccinate 2,558 of Kasese’s dogs in just two weeks.
World Rabies Day
September 27thwas once again a big day in our calendars as the global rabies stakeholders came together to shout about World Rabies Day!! We ran educational rallies in Goa with over 400 pupils involved and a day of poetry and songs in Malawi, with children sharing their creative writing about rabies! Back in the UK, some of our brave supporters also got involved, taking on a skydive in the name of rabies and raising vital funds in the process!
One Million Children Educated in India
As we reach the end of 2018, the milestones kept coming, with the education of over one million children in India!! This is a result of our continuing work in Goa and Ranchi in the country and takes us over the combined total of two million children educated worldwide! A great end to the year!