There have been no human deaths from rabies for over two years due to a campaign by the Government of Goa to control the disease in collaboration with the NGO, Mission Rabies. The project focuses on three areas of work:
As is the case across most of India, Goa suffered the consequences of rabies circulating in the roaming dog population, with human deaths occurring where people did not get vaccinated following a bite from a rabid dog. Over 4,00,000 doses of rabies vaccine have been delivered to dogs in Goa since 2013 in the largest continuous rabies control effort to have ever taken place in India. The campaign aims to get most dogs in the state vaccinated against rabies every year, to educate all children about the risk of rabies through lessons in schools and to increase testing for the disease through widespread public reporting of any possible rabies case across the state.
The government of Goa provide funding through a grant for implementing vaccination and surveillance work, which was renewed for a further three years in 2018.
Mission Rabies is an international NGO working to develop effective methods for rabies control where it is needed most. The charity has been responsible for implementing mass dog vaccination, community education and rabies surveillance activities in Goa under the leadership of the Government of Goa since 2013.
Dogs Trust has supported the campaign through providing grant funding to Mission Rabies for dog vaccination, surveillance, research and education since 2013.
MSD Animal Health have donated over 300,000 doses of Nobivac Rabies to Mission Rabies for use in Goa state since 2013, a high quality and thermostable vaccine to control the disease.
The University of Edinburgh provides support for campaign data analysis, reporting and operational research to explore ways of optimising campaign structure and improving the efficiency of the vaccination methods.
NIMHANS has supported the Goa Campaign since 2014 through providing Rabies diagnostic testing capacity in Bangalore, and supporting the training of staff to establish rabies testing capacity through the Goa Disease Investigation Unit in 2016 in collaboration with Mission Rabies and the Department for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services.
Rotary International supported the Goa campaign through the donation of three Vaccination vehicles in 2017, which have been used to transport vaccination teams across the entire state, vaccinating over 200,000 dogs. They also donated three scooters to support the evaluation of efforts through post-vaccination surveys.