London-based animal charity, Mayhew has announced that its Afghanistan Country Director, Dr Jalil-Adbul Mohammadzai DVM, has been awarded the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) International Award.
The award recognises individuals who work within or outside of the UK to raise veterinary standards and improve animal welfare abroad.
‘Dr Mo’, as he is known by colleagues, is being honoured by the RCVS for his work in Kabul – including the establishment of Afghanistan’s first ever mass canine rabies vaccination programme, and the agreement signed with Kabul municipality in 2017 to end inhumane dog culling.
Caroline Yates, CEO of Mayhew, said: “Dr Mo has an ability to work at both the ‘grassroots’ level with staff from all educational backgrounds to get the best out of them, and with government bodies to achieve the best outcome for animals and communities.
“He is particularly skilled at empowering teams working with limited resources; through creating low-cost solutions to problems which allow veterinary medicine and surgery to be carried out to a high standard in even the most basic clinical set-ups”.
Since 2017, Mohammadzai and his dedicated team of locally trained vets and dog catchers have vaccinated over 31,000 dogs against rabies in Kabul, reaching an average of 77% of the free-roaming and owned dog population in the city, achieving the threshold required to break the chain of rabies transmission.
By consistently vaccinating a minimum of 70% of the population, ‘herd immunity’ will be established, containing the spread of the rabies virus until the disease is eventually eliminated.
Mohammadzai has also provided hands-on training to Afghan veterinary surgeons, retrained the municipality dog-catchers from “dog-killers” to humane dog handlers and is shortly to implement a ‘trap, neuter, release’ programme for the free-roaming dog population in Kabul.
All recipients of RCVS awards have been invited to attend the annual Royal College Day to receive their honour, which this year will take place at the Royal Institute of British Architects on Friday 12 July 2019.