Mission Rabies starts ‘biggest ever’ vaccination drive in Cambodia

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Mission Rabies to start biggest ever vaccination drive in cambodia

Today (22 May) Mission Rabies, a project of the international charity Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) which has recently merged with Dogs Trust, will commence a mass vaccination drive in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh.

Working closely with the local government and charity partners, along with over 100 international volunteers, Mission Rabies aims to vaccinate 100,000 dogs against rabies in just ten days in what’s be Cambodia’s largest canine rabies vaccination project to date.

With rabies killing approximately 59,000 people globally every year, Cambodia is in a particularly dire situation, as it has one of the highest death rates per capita of any country in the world due to the disease.

Founder and CEO of Mission Rabies and WVS, Dr Luke Gamble, explains, “In Cambodia, the reality of rabies is a tragic one. Statistically, children die of canine transmitted rabies every week in Phnom Penh, and annually, approximately 600,000 people in the country are bitten by dogs.

“The lack of awareness about this deadly disease means that many bitten individuals do not receive the post-exposure treatment they need, leaving them with no chance for survival once symptoms appear. This has to stop. We know that vaccinating dogs is the key to eliminating rabies and that’s why we’re undertaking our largest and most ambitious vaccination drive yet – to vaccinate 100,000 dogs in ten working days.

“We’re grateful to have the support of MSD Animal Health, and all those who are backing this project. Together, we’re working towards our shared goal of eliminating human rabies deaths by 2030. Let’s make a difference and protect the lives of both people and dogs in Cambodia.”

At its global projects, Mission Rabies aims to vaccinate 70% of the canine population, the coverage needed to eliminate the disease in dogs and prevent human deaths.

The vaccination drive in Cambodia will be delivered in partnership with the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production, Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, and two Cambodian animal welfare organisations: Animal Rescue Cambodia, and Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society.

Updates throughout the vaccination drive will be available on www.missionrabies.com.

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