Nepal, with a vast street dog population, continues to suffer from outbreaks of canine-sourced rabies. Not only is rabies detrimental to animal health, it poses a safety risk on the community. The Nepal Veterinary Council and Animal Health Department report approximately 1,500 human rabies cases per year, with approximately 200 annual rabies-caused fatalities.
Children are the most at-risk for contacting the virus. However, the World Health Organization “has stated that mass street dog vaccination campaigns [are] the most effective measure for controlling canine rabies” (2016).
Successful Spring Rabies Vaccination Camp
Street Dog Care, a local NGO with whom Shenpen works, vaccinated 1,000 dogs this last spring with the help of local veterinarians and volunteers. The camp took place in different neighborhoods of the Boudhanath area including Pashupatinath, Jorpati, Mahankal, Pipalbot, and Boudhadwar Road behind the dog shelter. The whole neighborhood is now safer for dogs, children, and everyone else! Shenpen has now been running this vaccination program for five years.
In 2011, we provided vaccination to 216 dogs, in 2012 this number more than doubled to 515, in 2013 we vaccinated 800, and in 2014 we vaccinated 900. With our committed veterinarians and volunteers, we have now vaccinated 1,000 dogs in both 2015 and 2016.
Many thanks to C.H.A.N.C.E. for Nepal (UK) for supporting these efforts for the past five years!
Source: World Health Organization (2016) “Dogs rabies control“, retrieved from http://www.who.int/rabies/animal/dogs/en/ (October 20, 2016).
Portions of this article were adapted from: Street Dog Care Vaccination Program. http://www.streetdogcare.org (October 20, 2016).