Dr Luke Gamble, founder of charities Worldwide Veterinary Service and Mission Rabies, is the recipient of the 2016 One Health Award from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). He will receive his Award at the 2016 WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from 27-30 September in Cartagena, Colombia, where he will also give a lecture on his work, entitled ‘One Mission’. The WSAVA Global One Health Award is presented by the WSAVA’s One Health Committee (OHC) to an individual who has promoted an aspect of One Health relevant to small companion animals.
Luke Gamble graduated from Bristol University in 1999 and is based in his New Forest surgery, Pilgrims Veterinary Practice. In 2003, he set up Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS), a charity providing veterinary aid around the world, followed, in 2013, by sister charity, Mission Rabies, which is leading the battle against canine rabies and works closely with the WSAVA’s charitable Foundation. Dr Gamble is CEO of both organisations and has raised more than four million pounds to support the charities’ projects around the world. He lectures internationally on animal welfare and veterinary subjects and, in 2014, was asked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to sit on an expert panel for the International Control of Neglected Zoonotic Diseases based on his rabies work globally.
Commenting on the presentation of the Award to Dr Gamble, Professor Michael Day, Chair of the WSAVA OHC, said: “The current most significant example of the importance of a One Health approach to disease control relates to the global fight against canine rabies - a disease that continues to cause an estimated minimum 59,000 human deaths each year. Luke is a world leader in this global fight. Mission Rabies runs mass vaccination campaigns and provides public education in Asia and Africa, having now vaccinated almost 400,000 dogs, spoken to over 500,000 schoolchildren and successfully controlled rabies in selected target areas.”
“The Mission Rabies programme is grounded in solid evidence-based science, with the field data collected having now generated the first high-class scientific manuscripts. Luke is a truly inspirational and charismatic leader who believes in simply getting on with the job at hand. The achievements of Mission Rabies and its sister charity, Worldwide Veterinary Service, readily show that even the greatest global health challenges are not insurmountable.”
Luke Gamble said: “It’s a huge honour to receive this Award and I accept it on behalf of an amazing team - without whom - the projects would be impossible. It’s an utter privilege to be a part of the veterinary profession and fighting diseases like rabies is an incredible opportunity to champion both animals and people – something we can all identify with. I’m totally indebted to WSAVA and the international veterinary community, whose support has been overwhelming, and it is only with this unity, that we can keep driving forward – and winning.”
The WSAVA is an umbrella organization focused on enhancing the clinical care of companion animals around the world. It represents more than 160,000 veterinarians globally through 94 member associations.