A mass canine rabies vaccination programme is on track to eliminate the deadly disease in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.
Mayhew Afghanistan, together with Kabul Municipality, have vaccinated 10,500 dogs through the programme already, which is estimated to be 70% of the dog population in Kabul. The figure is significant as it is also the accepted threshold required to break the chain of virus transmission and start creating herd immunity in the area.
The Mayhew began implementing its first vaccination programme, covering the main 16 residential districts in the city, on 6th August 2017. This followed successful negotiations with Kabul Municipality to end the inhumane practice of culling the free-roaming dogs.
From early morning to noon, two teams of 12 dog catchers and vet vaccinators set out to catch and vaccinate the dogs. Within 72 hours, a surveyor will visit the designated areas to count the number of vaccinated dogs and compare it with the total number of dogs in that area.
Mayhew’s Afghanistan Country Director, Dr Abdul Jalil Mohammadzai DVM, said, “The team are delighted that the programme has now vaccinated 70% of the population of dogs in Kabul in just over 10 months.
“A new dog population survey has recently been completed and this will provide data for the amount of dogs to be vaccinated as a minimum in year two of the mass canine rabies vaccination programme and be the basis of the dog population management plan.
“We believe that informing and educating communities about the rabies virus and other infectious diseases and how they are spread is key to rabies prevention, safe interaction with community dogs, compassion towards animals and improved health. A win win situation for dogs and people alike.”
Mayhew relies on donations to continue helping, training and funding vaccination programmes and animal birth control projects for thousands of animals around the world.