We are working with authorities and communities to address concerns around diseases spread between animals and humans. As well as disease control in the shelter environment.
Rabies is a 99.9% fatal disease. More than 96% of human deaths from rabies stem from bites by infected dogs. Most of its victims are children and 95% of human rabies deaths occur in Africa and Asia.
Human rabies is nearly always transmitted through a bite from an infected dog and the most effective method of prevention is mass canine vaccination. By vaccinating 70% of the dog population consistently over a period of time, ‘herd immunity’ is created. This contains the spread of the virus until the disease is eliminated in that area.
Sadly rabies is an extremely common disease in Afghanistan. According to statistics from the World Health Organisation, only 1% of the dogs in Afghanistan are vaccinated against rabies. Kabul Municipality had been trying to control human rabies infections by poisoning the dogs and reducing the dog population on the streets. But rabies will spread at the same rate regardless of how many dogs there are. Mayhew convinced Kabul Municipality to stop their cruel dog culling programme and to allow our Afghanistan team to tackle the problem humanely.
In 2015, Dr Mohammadzai DVM, together with a team of volunteer vet students from Kabul University, carried out the first ever Dog Population Survey in Kabul. Of the 15,000 dogs they found in the city, a target of vaccinating 70% was set and in 2017 a group of former Kabul Municipality dog catchers were re-trained to not cull, but humanely catch and restrain the animals for vaccination.
Since then our dedicated local team have worked tirelessly on the streets to catch and vaccinate the dogs – tracking how many and where they are all the while. So far the team have vaccinated over 10,000 dogs and we have just recruited a second team of dog catchers to help cover more ground.