Clinician's Brief Helps Vaccinate 26,000+ Dogs in Mumbai

ArticleLast Updated March 20243 min read
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Rabies is one of the oldest diseases known to humankind, and unfortunately, once clinical signs are present, the disease is universally fatal. Despite advances in medical knowledge and treatment over the years, there are still nearly 59,000 human deaths from rabies each year, with nearly half of those deaths occurring in children.1

More than 99% of human rabies cases are caused by a bite from an infected dog,2 even though rabies is 100% preventable by vaccine. This lack of vaccination has resulted in the killing of millions of healthy dogs every year due to the fear of this deadly disease.

The most effective way to eradicate rabies is mass vaccination, and researchers have demonstrated that human deaths can drop to 0 if just 70% of a stable population of dogs in a local area are vaccinated.3

What Is Mission Rabies?

Mission Rabies is a United Kingdom-based animal welfare charity group with the goal of eliminating human rabies by the year 2030 through global education and mass vaccination campaigns.

Since 2013, Mission Rabies has traveled around the world, vaccinating over 2 million dogs through their campaigns in Cambodia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and Zambia.

Veterinary Breakroom: Taking the Fight Against Rabies to Tanzania

Clincian's Brief Joins Mission Rabies

Since 2016, Clinician's Brief has supported Mission Rabies, sending volunteers to 5 countries on 9 campaigns through sponsorship from Merck Animal Health, which also provides all vaccines for the campaigns.

In 2024, Mission Rabies traveled to Mumbai, India, for a one-week mass vaccination campaign. Clinician's Brief's own veterinary editor Dr. Peggy Burris and editor Katy Drawhorn joined the organization in Mumbai to contribute to the fight.

I am just so happy to be a small part of this big campaign, and I hope Mission Rabies continues to have success as they push in this area and beyond. —Peggy Burris, DVM

During this campaign:

  • 26,951 dogs were vaccinated

  • 60 teams of volunteers participated

  • 5 zones, each consisting of dozens of neighborhoods, were canvassed

The Mumbai region vaccination drive was spearheaded by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC; Mumbai's municipal government), in partnership with Mission Rabies.

I am amazed at the number of vaccines we were able to administer in just 5 days. None of this would have been possible without local community involvement. —Katy Drawhorn

For photos and videos from our time in Mumbai, follow Clinician's Brief on Instagram, Facebook, Threads, and X/Twitter.

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Clinician's Brief's Dr. Peggy Burris holds two vaccinated puppies during the Mission Rabies campaign in Mumbai, India.

Setting the Blueprint for Rabies Elimination

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 95% of human rabies cases occur in Africa and Asia.4 Mission Rabies launched its first vaccine drive in 2013 in Goa, India, where one-third of all human rabies cases occurred.4 Within 30 days, 61,143 dogs were vaccinated with the help of international volunteers from 14 countries who had joined forces with local dog catchers and veterinary team members.

Goa was declared a rabies-controlled state, the first in India’s history. The announcement from the government of Goa came after not a single individual had died of rabies across the state since 2018.

The drive in Goa set the blueprint for subsequent campaigns to be successful—including the latest drive in Mumbai—bringing vaccine drives, sterilization campaigns, and educational awareness programs to endemic areas.

If you’d like to learn more about Mission Rabies and future drives, please visit