EERA P4 meeting, Jan 2016: Mission Rabies

Andy Gibson from Mission Rabies, who has just joined us part-time to pursue a PhD, presented at the monthly EERA P4 (papers, presentations, ponderings and pastries) meeting:
Having just started a part time PhD with Mission Rabies and The Roslin Institute, it was fantastic to have the opportunity to present the work of Mission Rabies to the EERA Group. The presentation focused on the current activities of Mission Rabies and how our teams are working on the ground in global rabies hot spots, including locations in India, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Sri Lanka. Our practical approach differs in each location, with variation in local culture, dog ownership practices and geography, however, broadly our activities can be grouped into mass dog vaccination, canine rabies surveillance and community education about rabies.

Mission Rabies was established with the aim of demonstrating that mass dog vaccination was practically implementable in rabies endemic countries. Annual vaccination of 70% of the dog population has been repeatedly shown to successfully eliminate rabies across large geographic areas, however this has not translated into action in many parts of Asia and Africa, where an estimated 55,000 per year die of the disease annually. Our projects focus on overcoming the specific challenges faced in the field to vaccinate over 70% of dogs across large geographic areas at city, state and district level. We have made huge advances in team management and project evaluation through the use of mobile technology and development of a tailor made Smartphone App. We intend to focus future research on the study of dog population dynamics, disease transmission and enhanced vaccine delivery strategies and are thrilled to be working closely with the team at The Roslin Institute to enhance the research output from our work.
Andy Gibson

Some related publications:

Vaccinate-assess-move method of mass canine rabies vaccination utilising mobile technology data collection in Ranchi, India (BMC Infectious Diseases, 2015)

The mission continues (Veterinary record, 2014)