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Indian adventure for Camelford student in battle against rabies

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 21, 2013

  • AT THE SHARP END: Kayleigh-Anne Norman, a student vet from Camelford, inspects a dog on the streets of India where she was taking part in the Mission Rabies vaccination project. Right, Kayleigh-Anne with one of the dogs her team caught and vaccinated.

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A YOUNG woman from Camelford who raised £1,600 in order to go to India to work for a charity close to her heart has returned and told of her experiences.

Kayleigh-Anne Norman, 20, who is studying to be a vet at Bristol University, raised the money so that she could volunteer for the Mission Rabies project in India.

Organised by the Worldwide Veterinary Service, its aim was to vaccinate 50,000 dogs in 30 days.

Kayleigh-Anne, a former pupil at Sir James Smith's School, made £451 towards her target of £1,600 from the spud and fill night held at Otterham Village Hall in August.

"I have to give a big thank you to every single person and company that donated," she said.

The money raised really did go to an amazing cause as we vaccinated over 8,600 dogs in two weeks against rabies.

"Boarding the plane to India on August 30, I really had no idea what to expect. We were thrown in the deep end at 6am to start catching, vaccinating, recording and marking dogs. I loved it.

"India is the world's hotspot for the disease and vaccinating dogs has been proven to stop its spread. Mission Rabies was aiming to vaccinate 50,000 dogs in 30 days throughout September.

"Each project team consisted of a group leader, two Indian vets, two international guests, two Indian MBA students and four or five dog catchers.

"Every day we would go out vaccinating dogs from 6am, and then again at 3pm to avoid the 36C midday heat.

"The process involved catching the stray dogs in large nets, which is much harder than it sounds. We would then vaccinate dogs through the net and spray them with blue cattle marker before releasing them.

"A post-vaccination survey was then carried out to assess if 70 per cent or more of the population had been vaccinated as this is the recommendation from the World Health Organisation to yield good herd immunity."

For more information visit www.missionrabies.com

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