Rabies in Africa: The problem
People and animals are dying unnecessary, sometimes violent and most importantly completely preventable deaths.
Rabies is classified as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) and the World Health Organization has a goal of eliminating rabies on a global scale by 2030.
Rabies is a disease that no longer really affects the developed world because we've implemented public health campaigns and government regulations related to vaccinations. There are very few deaths in the USA and other developed nations due to rabies, and almost no deaths from rabies because of a dog bite.
In the developing world this is not the case. Sadly, the areas that need the most help are the ones most often neglected. People cannot afford basic care for themselves, let alone the domestic animals they interact with and as a consequence both humans and animals suffer. Our aim is to travel to these areas and vaccinate dogs.
The statistics suggest that rabies accounts for ~60,000 deaths across the globe annually. Children under the age of 15 account for a large percentage of the mortality rates.
The vast majority of transmission in Africa is via canine bites or saliva transmission. In rural, poorly educated areas the canine population is going undiagnosed / unrecognised within the community and slowly developing clinical signs of rabies. This eventually leads to a bite incident.