Although only one or two people die annually of Rabies in the United States, Rabies is a major worldwide concern, killing an estimated 60,000 people each year through the spread of dog bites. The majority of which are children under the age of 15.
Millions of healthy dogs are inhumanely persecuted and killed for fear of this deadly disease. This approach does little to stop the spread of rabies. The most effective long-term strategy is a combination of sterilization and vaccination of dogs in endemic areas. Canine rabies is 100% preventable through vaccination. Mission Rabies began as a project of the Worldwide Veterinary Service in 2013. Since 2015, they became a charity in their own right, with one aim: to eliminate dog bite transmitted rabies once and for all.
Approximately 95% of all human cases of rabies occur in Asia and Africa. India is especially hard hit, with one-third of all global human rabies deaths occurring there. In 2018, I joined a team of volunteers from Mission Rabies on a 14-day project in Goa, India. Our team was very successful, vaccinating over 6,000 dogs. In 2014, when the project started, 17 people in Goa had died from rabies. The project continued, and the numbers dropped. In 2018, no one in Goa died of rabies, and so far in 2019, no one has died. We are making a difference.
I am delighted to announce that in February 2020, I will once again be joining a team of Mission Rabies volunteers on another vaccination drive. The destination: Ghana! Our intention, as always, is to vaccinate as many dogs as possible, with a goal of immunizing 70% of the dog population. At this level of immunity, the rabies cycle is broken.
To do this type of work is expensive and requires many resources. If you support the work that I am doing with this amazing organization, I ask that you make a donation to the cause. Every dollar helps. During the mission, I will be posting many photos, as I did when I was in Goa, so you can see up close the wonderful work we do.
Mission Rabies Goa 2018 was a successful excursion and phenomenal experience. You can read all about my adventure: Mission Rabies Goa.