Infectious Disease Research in Malawi
Dr Richard Mellanby, Head of Small Animal Medicine, visited Blantyre in Malawi, which has reported the highest incidence of childhood rabies of anywhere in Africa.
Rich worked alongside colleagues in the charity Mission Rabies, local vets, health officials, medics and a team of international volunteers as part of project to vaccinate as many dogs as possible in the centre of Blantyre.
This project resulted in the vaccination of over 35,000 dogs in just 20 days as well as delivering rabies education lessons to over 45,000 children through the city. The project was an outstanding success in one of the most challenging and problematic rabies hotspots in the world. We look forward to working with the Mission Rabies team in the future as the project continues to expand their study sites throughout the developing world.
Rabies is a devastating disease of both dogs and humans. Around 60,000 people, mostly children, die from rabies each year with almost all human rabies cases arising from bites by infected dogs. Administering rabies vaccines to dogs is highly effective at preventing the disease developing in dogs which subsequently leads to a dramatic decrease in the incidence of the disease in humans