The mission is mobile!
The second stage of the campaign began earlier this week, relocating to the northern and eastern checkpoints. Building on the fantastic results from the south, our new teams in Bikaner, Ranchi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Tirupati and Bhubaneswar have already pushed the total number of dogs vaccinated to over 35,000. This means we will reach three-quarters of our target in a few days’ time.
On Sunday we breathed a sigh of relief as our beloved truck was released from customs in Mumbai. For those who aren’t aware, this custom-built vehicle is an all-terrain, completely self-sufficient mobile veterinary hospital. During this month's vaccination drive it will act as a flagship for the campaign, generating public interest and facilitating education programmes about rabies control. After September it will return to each vaccination checkpoint for two to four weeks at a time, running training courses for local vets so that they have the skills and confidence to run their own ABC programmes and begin to control the local dog population. The truck is a very important part of Mission Rabies, so we’re glad that it is finally back on the road and able to fulfil its role - you can track its progress in India.
Last week we received the dreadful news that the team in Madurai had met a six-year-old girl being brought into hospital suffering from rabies. We were all horrified by this, but we know that it is a tragically common occurrence in India. We believe that no one should die of rabies and hope that our work will make this a reality.
This is what inspires the incredible commitment being demonstrated by those carrying out the mass vaccination drive; it is a really tough job, with work often starting at 5am because the heat becomes unbearable later in the day. This picture of the amazing TOLFA team shows just how physical dog catching is:
The first instalment of the Mission Rabies video blog went live this morning. It was recorded in Goa during the launch week of the campaign and features our founder, Luke Gamble. You can watch it in the gallery, where you will also find an ever-increasing set of fabulous photo albums. A further four episodes of the blog will be released over the next few days so keep checking back for those.