Today the aptly named Joy was the 20000th animal ever to receive a rabies vaccination by the Dogstar Foundation team here in Sri Lanka. Rabies is one of the worlds most deadly and feared diseases and is endemic in Sri Lanka. The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises that mass canine vaccination programmes are the most effective measure for controlling rabies and that vaccinating 70% of the dogs in an area is necessary to control the disease in both humans and dogs.
Dogstar Foundation are working in partnership with Mission Rabies to do just that here in Sri Lanka. We record the GPS location of every Rabies vaccination given, dogs gender, sterilisation status and body condition via the Mission Rabies App and marking the dog with a temporary paint marker. This allows us to conduct scientific evidence based re sight surveys to ensure our programs achieve the desired coverage. During our 2015 mass vaccination program in Negombo, we vaccinated over 5000 dogs in 20 days achieving a 77 % vaccination coverage. Planning for our 2016 mass vaccination is now well underway and Mark and I are flying out to Malawi later this month to volunteer on the Mission Rabies program there.