Home Public Health World Rabies Day 2022: “One Health, Zero Death”

World Rabies Day 2022: “One Health, Zero Death”

by Public Health Update


World Rabies Day 2022: One Health, Zero Deaths

This year’s theme will focus on One Health, coupled with the reminder of the “Zero by 30” goal and the fact that dog-mediated human rabies elimination is possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the stark vulnerabilities of health systems but it also demonstrated what collaboration across sectors can achieve.

National Guideline on Rabies Prophylaxis in Nepal 2019

Rabies control programmes offer a great example for One Health implementation and the structures and trust that underpin these are crucial for other zoonotic diseases, including those that are pandemic-prone.

The world has the vaccines, medicines, tools, and technologies to break the cycle of one of the oldest diseases.

Zero by 30: Global Strategic Plan for the elimination of dog-mediated human rabies deaths by 2030 is an ambitious document with achievable targets. It is aligned with the new NTD road map that prioritizes integrated interventions and mainstreaming of NTD programmes within national health systems.

NTD road map

The integrated approaches advocated in both the Global Strategic Plan for rabies and the road map are relevant, as they show the importance of working together optimally and collaboratively in face of numerous challenges, as experienced during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

It is therefore critical to work with stakeholders, champions, and people at community, local, national, and global levels to rebuild and strengthen health systems and rabies control programs.

By collaborating and joining forces, enaging communities and committing to sustain dog vaccination, rabies can be eliminated. 

Key Fact & message

  • Over 59,000 people die of rabies every year, worldwide, and millions have to seek life-saving treatment
  • Someone dies of rabies every 9 minutes – these deaths can be stopped
  • 29 million people seek life-saving treatment to prevent rabies every year Rabies deaths are a direct consequence of poverty and inequality in access to health services
  • Many rabies deaths are a result of poverty
  • People die of rabies because they cannot get medical help
  • Rabies is 100% preventable with current knowledge, technology, and vaccines – improving access to human and dog vaccines will save more lives
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rabies-related deaths are preventable; simple and relatively low-cost tools and strategies for rabies control and prevention exist.
  • One Health or holistic rabies programs work and are within reach for even low and middle income countries.

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/ and https://www.who.int/

Rabies in Nepal

Rabies is primarily a disease of warm-blooded animals like Dogs, Jackals, Wolfs, Mongoose wild cats etc. Rabies cases are almost all fatal but it is 100% preventable by vaccination, awareness about human and animal interaction. Most of the affected are children. It has been assumed that almost half of Nepal’s population are at high risk and a quarter at moderate risk of rabies. It is estimated that around 30,000 cases in pets and more than 100 human rabies cases occur each year with the highest risk are in the Terai. Latent infections have been reported in dogs and cats. Very few patients take rabies immune globulin (postexposure prophylaxis). Almost all of human cases (99%) of rabies are result of dog bites. Vaccinating 70% of dogs break rabies transmission cycle in an area at risk. So, along with the EDCD, every dog owner and animal health authorities are more concerned to eliminate it as public health problem.

Activities and achievements in 2077/78 in Rabies control Programme
The following activities were carried out in 2077/78 for the control of rabies cases:

  • Awareness programs about Rabies for school students and general public.
  • Celebration of Work Rabies day on 28th September and co-ordination with province and local level health officials for its effective implementations.
  • Epidemiological study on the active dog bites cases.
  • Surveillance about Rabies on outbreak area.
  • Orientation program about the benefit of Intradermal (ID) delivery of Anti Rabies Vaccine (ARV) for health workers.
  • Orientation on application of immunoglobulin for provincial level health facilities.
  • Procurement of cell culture ARV vaccine and immunoglobulin.

Read More: DoHS Annual Report

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