Mr. Dedan Ngatia has been a key leader in the main program of the Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign (LRVC), its annual mobile free rabies vaccination clinic. Dedan’s goal is to eradicate rabies in Laikipia County by vaccinating 70% of domestic dogs for three consecutive years, which research shows is an effective method of eliminating the disease. So far, he has helped the program reach 60% of Laikipia County, and the aim for 2019 is to vaccinate 25,000 dogs, which will help the campaign complete its first year of 70% vaccination level.
During the campaign Dedan facilitates partnerships with local communities, businesses, researchers, the county and national governments, and local and international NGOs to reach more than 200 communities over the course of two months. He coordinates more than 40 volunteers from the community and local universities to bring vital dog and cat rabies vaccinations, free of charge, to the rural communities of Laikipia County who otherwise would not be able to access the lifesaving medicine. As it has grown, Dedan has also developed a crucial research component to examine the demographics of domestic dogs in Laikipia, the potential for disease transmission between domestic dogs and wildlife, and the most effective methods to bring vaccinations to Laikipians and their animals.
In addition to the direct benefits of the annual vaccination campaign, Dedan has invested in education and technical experiences for community members. He developed education programs alongside community leaders to educate the people of Laikipia on rabies awareness, prevention, and best practices for caring for their dogs and cats. This is successful in preventing the disease and raising awareness of the importance of vaccinating their animals. In addition, LRVC also provides valuable opportunities for college students and young veterinarian students and professionals to get hands-on experience with disease prevention, community health projects, and data collection, which can benefit them in their future careers.
(Extract from nomination)