Mission Rabies returned to Sri Lanka for the second year and what a year it was! , vaccinating 9239 animals against Rabies exceeding the required 70 % vaccination coverage protecting the human and animal population against this deadly disease. This year the Mission Rabies / Dogstar team worked with the Municipal Council to set up the first Mission Rabies static point vaccination in Asia. Over three months a total of 141 “pop up” mini vaccination clinics were held across the Negombo Municipal area Rabies vaccinating over 4000 dogs.
Turnout was much higher than expected but not enough to reach the of 70 % coverage needed and in September six international volunteers and Mission Rabies International Veterinary Project Manager Jordana joined the in-country team to carry out the door to door vaccination campaign. The team covered every inch of the city in blistering heat to search for every single unvaccinated dog. Our dedicated team threw themselves into the work with great enthusiasm, running across beaches and down roads behind the dog catching team, vaccinating, checking sterilized dogs for Microchips, recording all the data on the Mission Rabies App and painting every vaccinated dog with paint for the resight surveys. We Reviewed vaccination cards for thousands more owned dogs, many of whom had incorrectly thought their animals were still vaccinated, so these checks were literally lifesaving. The teams handed out Mission Rabies education leaflets to ensure owners understand how important regular Rabies vaccinations are and providing information on Dogstar’s ongoing spay neuter program.
Support was city wide from bars and Hotels displaying Mission Rabies posters and banners to the local tuk-tuk driver’s association members proudly wearing Mission Rabies bracelets and advising locals and tourists alike on the importance of the Mission Rabies program. If you want help confine Rabies to the history books you can volunteer with Mission Rabies in 2017, details of volunteering opportunities in Asia and Africa are available online http://www.missionrabies.com