Dr. Renée van Rheede van Oudtshoorn

Community Veterinary Services for Southern Africa, January 2020

Dr. Renée van Rheede van Oudtshoorn has worked to protect people for over a decade, empowering communities against rabies. She is a recipient of a Rabies Hero Award for her work with the Community Veterinary Services for Southern Africa. Working in villages and towns in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, Renée regularly manages rabies campaigns, providing free sterilizations and vaccinations to the animals in poor rural areas where access to veterinary care is limited.

“I am very humbled and this award means a lot to our team”, said Renée. When asked what working against rabies means to her, she said: “The most rewarding feeling is knowing the vaccination coverage we can provide. Despite that so often, human post exposure vaccines are not accessible, we possibly saved these childrens’ lives by the work we do.” She also adds: “Being in contact with rabies and suspected rabies cases in the rural communities we work in, witnessing dog bite wounds in children , seeing the panic in parents hearts… being a mother myself and realising how REAL rabies is on our continent… it keeps us motivated.”