Dr Mohammadzai has designed and implemented a 3 year mass canine vaccination programme to cover the 16 main districts in Kabul, which has government support and is delivered by local personnel. The team is now completing the second year of the strategy, ensuring a minimum of 70% of the dog population is vaccinated, with regular post vaccination surveys. Both free-roaming and owned dogs are vaccinated on the programme, with owners provided with information about rabies and the importance of vaccination.

Dr Mohammadzai has introduced a programme of awareness-raising about rabies, dog-bite prevention and how to behave around street dogs from April 2019 to complement the vaccination programme in the field. This is carried out by young Afghan vets who have received training from Dr Mo and who go to schools and colleges to delivered workshops and activities as well as providing Q&A sessions for the general public in Kabul Zoo.

Dr Mohammadzai has set up a Rabies Hotline for residents concerned about dogs in their neighbourhoods and similarly calls to Kabul Municipality on this matter are now referred to Mayhew Afghanistan to deal with and respond to. The team will go to the area of Kabul where the concern/complaint has come from, assess the dog situation and deal with it accordingly, providing necessary preventative advice and information to the community involved.

Dr Mohammadzai convinced Kabul Municipality that culling dogs using strychnine poisoning in order to prevent rabies was ineffective, extremely costly and inhumane. Through the presentation of his strategy to eliminate rabies from Kabul and introduce a humane dog population management programme he has succeeded in getting the different government departments and authorities to work together: Kabul Municipality, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Public Health and Kabul University.

The number of recorded rabies deaths in humans in 2018 in Kabul was zero, down from 3 recorded deaths in 2017, following the first year of the mass canine vaccination programme.

(From nomination)

View 2019 World Rabies Day event