In Kenya, the majority of annual rabies-related deaths occur where vaccination programs are limited or non-existent, and where low income communities reside. The Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign (LRVC) begun in 2015 by the Mpala Research Centre in order to provide real-time health benefits for these vulnerable communities, as well as domestic animals and wildlife. Last year’s campaign saw over 4, 000 dogs vaccinated as a result of support from various partners that included Bruce Ludwig, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, the County Government of Laikipia, and Ol Pejeta Conservancy among others.
In Laikipia, we know that there are significant numbers of undocumented rabies cases in domestic animals, wildlife and humans annually. When faced with such statistics we must ask ourselves – can the strategy of making Laikipia Kenya’s first rabies free county really work? The answer is a resounding YES, but only if Laikipians as well as County Government can work together to eradicate this deadly virus.
If we take informed steps, we can significantly minimise exposure to rabies and accomplish Kenya’s 2030 vision of being an entirely rabies free nation. We will however not be able to reach this goal without your help.
The 2017 LRVC plans to widen its scope and reach out to more people.
The campaign will take place over the weekends in October and into November, if necessary. Our goal is to vaccinate over 5,000 dogs and cats during this period. The campaign will target approximately 20 communities bordering Mpala Research Centre as well as Ol Jogi, Segera, Ol Pejeta, Loisaba, Ol Lentille, Karisia/Tumaren, Naibunga, Lewa and Borana Conservancies.
How You Can Help
Your support is crucial to our efforts. The number of students, vets and community members who are always willing to volunteer is always encouraging but we do need more financial support.
The 2017 LRVC, which now includes Distemper, is predicted to cost approximately Ksh 2M (USD $20, 000). With this money we will be able to cover the costs of:
- Over 5000 Rabies and Distemper vaccines
- Transport, accommodation and meals for all LRVC staff and volunteers during the campaign
- Production of rabies civic education material
LWF and Mpala Research Centre will give a full transparent account of how all monies donated will be utilised, as well as a final report after completion of the campaign.
To donate please use the following:
- Select the MPESA service On Your Phone
- Select Lipa Na MPESA
- Select Pay Bill
- Enter Business Number: 991503
- When asked for Account Name: Please Type In Your Full Name
For bank transfers, please use:
Bank: Stanbic Bank
Account Number: 0100004071926
Account Name: Laikipia Wildlife Forum
For more information, please contact John Gitonga on John.Gitonga@laikipia.org
Laikipia Wildlife Forum will be working with the LRVC, led by Mpala Research Centre, and will keep you up to date on this very important initiative.
Rabies is an almost invariably fatal disease for both humans and animals. Vaccination of domestic animals is a critical step that we should all participate in for the protection of domestic animals, our already fragile wildlife population and most importantly, public health.
Together, we can eradicate rabies in Laikipia!