April 19, 2016
2 min

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Volunteers to Travel To Malawi to Vaccinate 30000 Dogs & Educate Communities About Rabies-Prevention

TULSA, OKLAHOMA—In partnership with Mission Rabies, leading veterinary publisher Brief Media—publisher of Clinician’s Brief and Veterinary Team Brief—is sending veterinarians and volunteers to Blantyre, Malawi, where they will provide rabies vaccinations and engage local communities in rabies-prevention education. Global animal health company Merial has sponsored several volunteers to travel to Malawi with Brief Media for the vaccine drive, which will take place from April 30 to May 13. Mission Rabies will also hold a vaccine drive in Malawi from May 13 to May 28.

“Brief Media was founded on the ideal of creating informative, novel content for the veterinary community in the effort to deliver health and well-being to companion animals,” says Elizabeth Green, Brief Media President. “Now, leveraging the rich knowledge and extraordinary skills of veterinary professionals, we are honored to save human lives as well as the lives of pets. This partnership and vaccine drive truly embodies Brief Media’s mission of creating a better veterinary world.”

This deadly disease kills on a daily basis—with 99% of human cases occurring as the result of dog bites. Children, particularly children from poor and marginal communities, are overrepresented. 

One hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, a city of almost 1 million people, sees the most reported child rabies deaths in Africa. For this mass vaccination campaign, Mission Rabies representatives have a goal of vaccinating 30000 dogs in Blantyre. They will organize static points for vaccine administration in addition to walking door-to-door to provide vaccinations. 

Jessie Foley, veterinary nurse, has led Brief Media’s volunteer recruitment efforts for Mission Rabies and will be on the team traveling to Malawi for the vaccine drive. Before joining Brief Media, Foley, who has degrees in both veterinary technology and advertising and public relations, worked on the veterinary technician team at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Teaching Hospital. 

“I’m proud to be part of an initiative to fight this horrible—and completely preventable—disease,” states Foley. “I’m awed by the opportunity our wonderful team of volunteers has to impact the lives of dogs, children, families—and entire communities.”

About Mission Rabies
Having witnessed the devastating effect of rabies firsthand, Luke Gamble, CEO of the UK-based charity Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS), launched Mission Rabies in September 2013. Since then, Mission Rabies, with the help of local and international volunteers, has vaccinated more than 250 000 dogs, educated more than 300 000 children on rabies risk reduction, and trained more than 70 Indian veterinarians in humane Animal Birth Control (ABC) techniques.

The majority of the people who die from rabies are children from poor and marginal communities, and over 99% of human cases of rabies are the result of dog bites. In response to these statistics, Mission Rabies aims to vaccinate at least 70% of the canine population in rabies-endemic areas.

The campaign is led by local animal welfare charities in the project countries. The support team in the UK is led by Luke Gamble, with Dogs Trust and MSD Animal Health as the key international sponsors.