Date: July 13, 2009

Location: NICARAGUA - Robin Hughes, DVM Reports

For more please see:

Date: July 5. 2009

Location: NICARAGUA 

As reported June 15, 2009 by Robin Hughes, DVM:


…”The Surgeon General of the United States made a brief visit to the ship to learn about Operation Continuing Promise and visited us at our work site.” 


For more please see:

Date: June 26. 2009


The mission in El Salvador is much the same as in previous countries, that is, vaccinating and deworming cattle. We also vaccinate other animals as the people bring them to us. One observation of interest in this country, as compared to the other countries we´ve visited, is the fact that domestic animals run loose and species mix indiscriminately. We see horses untethered by the side of the road, cattle walking down the highway, pigs on the beach, packs of dogs roaming free, and of course chickens and turkeys everywhere. Surprisingly, though, I have seen very few stray or free roaming cats here. (July 2, 2009)


As reported June 15, 2009 by Robin Hughes, DVM:


Please also see:


The following is a blog entry composed by both myself and Dr. Cynthia Hoobler, who is here with me on this leg of the deployment.


Summary of our mission in Tumaco, Colombia


Tumaco is an area where many factors favoring the transmission of rabies to humans occurs.  One factor is large numbers of stray (and unaltered) dogs come in contact with children.  Most of these dogs are not vaccinated for rabies; of approximately one hundred dogs we saw, only two had a current rabies vaccine.  Children carry the local dogs by grabbing the front legs or both the front and back legs, and haul them bodily to the desired location.  This positions the dog's head at the level of the child's face, making it easy for a bite to occur.


Additionally, the country of Colombia is in a state of "civil war" due to well-organized and well funded narcoterrorism.  This constant unrest causes disruption in the villages, so that local people leave their homes and animals while seeking safety.  We observed local villagers that had fled from their homes following a clash between the Colombian military and the FARC, a terrorist organization.  These clashes are common. 


Without adequate stray dog control and vaccination, rabies will remain a problem for the population in rural Colombia.


Robin Hughes, DVM

Cynthia Hoobler, DVM, MPH, DACVPM




As reported June 10, 2009 by Robin Hughes, DVM:


Please see:


Date: June 10. 2009

Location: Tumaco, COLOMBIA

“We are staying ashore in Tumaco, Colombia. The thrust of the mission here is vaccination of the small and large animals. We are handing out a lot of the rabies brochures as well, and the people seem grateful for the information. Cynthia Hoobler, a Public Health veterinarian from Texas, U.S. has joined us, and we are happy to have her perspective on things. I won´t be able to send any photos until I get back on the ship, which will be another week.”  


Footnote:  Dr. Cynthia Hoobler, now on board with Dr. Hughes is a prominent One Health supporter who has worked closely with the doyen of veterinary public health, James H. Steele, DVM, MPH. 


Cynthia Hoobler, DVM, MPH

1901 Valero

Friendswood, TX   77546



EDUCATION            DVM Texas A&M University 1979 magna cum laude

                                    Licensed in Texas

MPH (Master of Public Health) UT School of Public Health 1982

Diplomat American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine

Continuing Education Emphasis - Public Health

                                    BS Animal Science Texas A&M University

      1976 summa cum laude


EXPERIENCE          Currently Professor San Jacinto College and

                                    Clinical Relief Veterinarian for Banfield The Pet Hospital

                                         Small animals, exotics, avians, public health consultant

                                         Spokesperson on Zoonotic Diseases

                                    Houston SPCA, large and small animals, surgery

                                    Chief Editor for General Biology I and II Lab

                                                Manual McGraw Hill 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Edition

                                    Royalties donated for Biology Scholarships

LCDR United States Public Health Service- Veterinary Services      Inactive Reserve

NVRT National Veterinary Resource Team

NAHER National Animal Health Emergency Response USDA   APHIS Veterinary Services

TXSART Texas State Animal Resource Team- charter member


                                    Veterinary Clinical Associate- Texas A&M University; taught

                                                Senior veterinary students

                                    Adjunct Professor University of Houston at Clear Lake

                                                Taught Human Anatomy and Physiology

                                    Adjunct Professor College of the Mainland: Texas City

                                                Taught General Biology I and II, Human Anatomy and

                                                            Physiology I and II

                                    Assistant Director of Public Health Pasadena Health 1983-1984

                                    Department- responsible for Epidemiology of Disease and

                                    Food borne illness, Animal Control, Environmental Health,

                                    Restaurant Inspection, Disease Surveillance, Public Education

                                    Supervise Registered Sanitarians          



                                    Internship World Health Organization - Copenhagen, Denmark

Summer 1983

Disease Investigation, Research for Publication, Animal Husbandry, Meat Inspection, Foreign Animal Diseases


Oral Rabies Vaccination Program - Fox 1 year and Coyote 1 year               

World Rabies Day 2007 and 2008 Coordinated Rabies Vaccination Clinics at San Jacinto College, Houston, Texas

Veterinarian Sponsor for SCAVMA Student Chapter American Veterinary Medical Association World Rabies Day Clinic at

Texas A&M University


Department of State Health Services Texas Basic Disaster Course

Smallpox Clinical and Vaccination Course

Member for Texas Disaster Force


HONORS                   Who’s Who College Professors 2005

Who’s Who Among Executive and Professional Women in Veterinary Care 2005/2006


PUBLICATIONS       Brucella canis Transmission from Canine to Human, Texas Preventable Diseases

                                    Presentation US Public Health Service – Globalization of

                                                Veterinary Public Health

Veterinary Public Health: Past Successes: Italiana Veterinary Journal, Co-author 2008.

Poverty, Population and Plagues.  Presented at the World Veterinary Congress in Canada 2008.

Assistant Editor: One Man, One Medicine, The James H. Steele Story.  To be published summer 2009 –


Dr. Steele’s principal biographer is another valued One Health supporter/advocate:

Craig N. Carter, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl ACVPM

Director and Professor, Epidemiology
Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center
College of Agriculture

College of Public Health
University of Kentucky
1490 Bull Lea Road
P.O. Box 14125
Lexington, KY  40512-4125




June 1, 2006 -  Update:  Reported by Dr. Hughes and Rabies Alliance from Panama City, Panama

As reported May 26, 2009 by Robin Hughes, DVM:


Please see: 



……“We are in Colon, Panama.  This morning, we visited the Ministry of Agriculture to determine what their needs are for our mission.  Their main concerns are bot flies, screw worm, and rabies.  The Ministry, in conjunction with the USDA, carries out the screw worm eradication program, whereby adult male flies are irradiated and released, thereby insuring their sterility.  In this particular area of Panama, the screw worm is present, and we are checking the cattle, goats, and other livestock for this parasite when we process them for vaccines and deworming. 


We are vaccinating all the livestock and small animals for rabies, which is present in this area.  Vampire bats are an important vector here.  The Ministry practices night-time capture of bats and testing for rabies.” ………

One Health advocate, Robin Hughes, DVM is on board the USNS Comfort representing the Alliance for Rabies Control…Dr. Hughes will be writing a blog and transmitting photos of her activities.  These will be published on the link below which will be periodically included on this News page of the One Health Initiative website as they are transmitted.

Please see website link:

USNS Comfort

In partnership with the U.S. Navy, the Alliance for Rabies Control has joined the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort in providing humanitarian aid throughout Central America.

Over three months time, the Alliance will sail to Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama to provide much needed information and resources on various zoonotic diseases with special emphasis on rabies.

This effort would not be possible without the help of numerous partners and the Alliance would like to thank the American Veterinary Medical Association, Ministry of Health of Chile and the One Health Initiative for their support.      

Click here to view the USNS Comfort Scheme of Maneuver.

Arrival date May 16. 2009