Home Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) World Rabies Day 2021! Rabies: Facts, Not Fear

World Rabies Day 2021! Rabies: Facts, Not Fear

by Public Health Update


The World Rabies Day is an initiative of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. World Rabies Day is held annually on September 28. It is the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur, who developed the first rabies vaccine and laid the foundations for rabies prevention as we know it. It is the first and only global advocacy, education, and awareness campaign for rabies. It has the support of all international health organizations and major stakeholders including the WHO, OIE, FAO and the US CDC, among many others.


A World Rabies Day event is any event or activity held on or near September 28 that:
• promotes awareness about rabies prevention, and/or
• reduces rabies transmission (such as vaccinating dogs)

World Rabies Day 2021! Rabies: Facts, Not Fear

For 2021, the World Rabies Day theme is Rabies: Facts, Not Fear. This theme highlights critical aspects in where we are now in our fight against rabies, and how we can use that to help us achieve global dogmediated rabies elimination:
1) we have the knowledge, strategies and tools to eliminate rabies;
2) we can use those successful approaches and tools to prevent, control and eliminate the disease; and
3) we can help save lives by spreading awareness about rabies, and teaching others how to prevent it.

Key messages


  • Together we can end human deaths from dog-transmitted rabies by 2030.
  • Rabies elimination is possible. Let’s make the possibility a reality by 2030.
  • Vaccinating dogs protects people too.

Prevention in rabies endemic countries

  • Vaccinate your dog. Protecting dogs against rabies helps protect you and your family too.
  • Avoid dog bites:Learn to read a dog’s body language. Don’t tease or attack them.
  • Teach children to always tell you if an animal bites or scratches them. Praise a child for doing this.
  • Immediately wash a bite wound for 15 minutes and consult your doctor about vaccinations.

Messages in dog rabies free countries

Avoid dog bites:

  • Learn to read a dog’s body language. Don’t tease or attack them.
  • Ensure that your children remain safe from traumatic dog bites.
  • Educate children about how to act around dogs to stay safe and build a lasting relationship with their companion animals.
  • Give dogs and cats the rights that they deserve by instilling responsible pet ownership in your community.

Policy makers

  • Rabies-related deaths are preventable; simple and low-cost tools and strategies for rabies control and prevention exist.
    – 100% of human rabies deaths can be prevented.
    – The world has all the tools it needs to end rabies deaths.
  • One Health or holistic rabies programs work and are within reach for even low and middle-income countries – the crucial need lies in garnering the political will to take these programs forward.
    – Human and animal health stakeholders need to work together to eliminate rabies.
    – Governments need to make rabies programs a priority.
    – Rabies disproportionately affects the poor, but elimination is within reach of even low-income countries.
  • Sustained national integrated rabies programs result in cost savings to national health budgets.
    – Controlling dog rabies through vaccination will reduce human healthcare costs.
    – National rabies programs reduce costs as well as deaths.
    – Investment in dog vaccination is the single most effective way of reducing the disease burden.
  • Rabies is a solvable problem that can lead to immediate (within an election cycle) results for national governments and international donors.
    – Well-designed rabies programs have a significant impact within a few years.
  • Rabies programs can be integrated into existing health systems and mechanisms, strengthening them in the process.
    – Existing health systems will be strengthened by integrating rabies prevention programs.
    – Capacity building for rabies surveillance and control can strengthen health systems for the prevention of other diseases.
    – Capacity building for rabies control will strengthen (one) health systems / disease preparedness.
  • Ending rabies is integrally linked to UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, to ensure healthy lives and well-being, particularly SDG 3.3, to end the epidemics of neglected tropical diseases by 2030.
    – Freedom from dog-mediated human rabies is a global public good.
    – Ending rabies supports progress towards other Sustainable Development Goals, primarily those related to poverty, food security, economic growth, infrastructure, inequality, and global partnerships.
    – A Global Strategic Plan has been developed to drive global rabies elimination towards the goal of Zero By 30.
  • Rabies is still present in over 150 countries.
  • We can eliminate human, dog and livestock deaths from dog-transmitted rabies by vaccinating 70% of dogs.
  • Vaccinating 70% of dogs in at-risk areas can eliminate dog rabies.
  • Rabies goes beyond country borders. National governments need to work together on the international stage.

MORE INFORMATION: https://rabiesalliance.org/

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