World Rabies Day is held each year on the 28th September, the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s death.
The theme this year is: 2017 – Rabies: Zero by 30
This reflects the goal of the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations (FAO) to reach zero human deaths by 2030.
- Rabies is 99.9% fatal and 100% preventable.
- Rabies is present in over 150 countries.
- Around 59 000 people die from rabies annually.
- Around 29 million people seek life-saving treatment to prevent rabies each year.
- 99% of deaths occur in Africa and Asia as a result of being bitten by infected dogs.
- Up to 60% of dog bites and rabies deaths occur in children under 15 years.
- Millions of dogs are culled each year in misguided attempts to curb the disease.
- Eliminating disease by vaccinating dogs protects the animals and stops transmission to humans.(1)
Key Messages of 2017 – Rabies: Zero by 30
- Rabies elimination is possible.
- Human and animal stakeholders need to work together.
- One Health or holistic rabies programmes work and are within reach even for low to middle income countries.
- Investment in dog vaccination programme is the single best way to eliminate disease.
- Controlling dog rabies through vaccination protects humans and reduces healthcare costs.
Global Alliance for Rabies Control
World Health Organisation
1. Global Alliance for Rabies Control (2017). Rabies: Zero by 30. https://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day/event-resources [Accessed 04/09/17]