Vet nurse facing challenge to fight spread of rabies
BANGALOW-based vet nurse Lucy Varga is readying herself to embark on a challenging mission: tackling the spread of rabies in India.
The World Health Organisation says roughly 36 per cent of the world's rabies deaths occur in India each year, most of those when children come into contact with infected dogs.
As a member of Vets Beyond Borders (VBB) - an Australian charity that helps to improve the lives of animals and humans in developing communities around the world, Ms Varga will deliver animal health and community awareness programs, and take part in a vaccinating program.
Ms Varga and other members of the VBB team will be working on a collaborative animal welfare program in the town of Leh - 3600 elevation in this stunning mountain desert region of Northern India.
The program involves working with street dogs, desexing, rabies vaccinations and general health care, from a clinic at Changspa on the edge of the Leh town.
Ms Varga has been a vet nurse for eight years, and has taken part in other animal volunteering programs over the years.
"I am very excited about my upcoming trip to Leh, Ladakh, and also a bit nervous,” Ms Varga said.
"It will be my first time to India, but I have heard so many wonderful things from people who have travelled there.
"I'm expecting to feel very exhausted and emotional during the volunteering program, but its all worth it for the animals who we will be helping.”
She said she was looking forward to hopefully helping to educate the locals a bit more on aspects of animal welfare.
"I think everyone should try to take part in volunteering at some point in their lives, whether its with animals or for another cause.
"Even though it can sometimes be heartbreaking and the workload full on, its so rewarding and makes you feel so extremely grateful for what we have here in our country.”