Creating a Rabies Free World: Mumbai Vaccination Drive 2024

From 26th February to 1st March 2024, we delivered an intensive vaccination drive across Mumbai and surrounding cities in India. The campaign focused on the vaccination of free-roaming dogs to stop the spread of the deadly disease and protect both dogs and people.

Creating a Rabies Free World: Mumbai Vaccination Drive 2024

Globally, rabies still claims the lives of approximately 59,000 people each year, with a staggering 20,000 of these fatalities occurring in India. These deaths are the result of around 4.5 million human rabies exposures annually and children have a much greater risk of dying. According to the World Health Organization, up to 60% of rabies deaths in the country are children under the age of fifteen. This sadly means that more children die from rabies in India than any other nation. Infected dog bites are the main cause of rabies in people and studies have proven that mass canine vaccination programmes are the most effective way to control the disease.

Creating a Rabies Free World: Mumbai Vaccination Drive 2024

A total of 26,951 animals were vaccinated during the project which was carried out in partnership with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), neighbouring municipalities, local NGOs, and many other dedicated partners. We were also joined by a brilliant crew of volunteers who travelled from near and far to support this life-saving mission.

Creating a Rabies Free World: Mumbai Vaccination Drive 2024

Dr Lauren Liden, vet volunteer, USA:

"It is so satisfying and inspiring to be part of this incredible mission to prevent rabies in children and dogs in India, working together with such incredible people."

Dr Maria King, vet volunteer, UK:

"Vaccination goals were met and exceeded, as were my expectations of this journey. If there is such thing as a calling in life, then I have found mine. It was an honour to help serve on the front line and make a difference!"

Creating a Rabies Free World: Mumbai Vaccination Drive 2024

Rabies was declared a notifiable disease by Maharashtra State Health Department in 2022, and a partnership between us and the BMC was formed in 2023 to work towards making Mumbai a rabies-free city.

We first launched in India in 2013 when 60,000 dogs were vaccinated in Goa during a four-week period. In 2021, after eight years of work in partnership with the Government of Goa, it became the first Indian state to be declared a "Rabies Controlled Area". The breakthrough set a precedent for other states to follow, with Goa acting as a global beacon of progress in rabies control.

Creating a Rabies Free World: Mumbai Vaccination Drive 2024

Each of our vaccination project aim to vaccinate 70% of a given dog population, the coverage needed to eliminate the disease in dogs and prevent human deaths. Our bespoke 'Data Collection App' is used to record vaccination figures and information about each dog, giving us valuable data that feeds into the management of vaccination campaigns in real time.

The Mumbai vaccination drive marks the beginning of an annual mass dog vaccination project in the city, as part of a broader national plan in India to eliminate human rabies deaths by 2030.

Creating a Rabies Free World: Mumbai Vaccination Drive 2024

Get involved in 2024

If you are interested in volunteering with us we are returning to Phnom Penh, Cambodia in October and November for a mass vaccination drive. You will be part of something amazing - helping to protect people and animals in Phnom Penh and the surrounding areas from this deadly disease. Find out more information and apply here.

Mission Rabies
4 Castle Street
BH21 5PZ
United Kingdom

Mission Rabies is a project of Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS), registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (1100485)

Mission Rabies USA, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization – EIN 81-5065473

Mission Rabies Deutschland e.V. (VR 5642, Amtsgericht Marburg) -

In association with:

Dogs Trust WorldwideWorldwide Veterinary ServiceMSD Animal Health