Each year approximately 59,000 people in developing countries lose their lives to rabies contracted by canines– that’s 160 people every day, many of them children. Our four-legged friends are also victims, with 20,000,000 culled each year out of fear of the transmission of a viral disease which can easily be prevented through vaccination.
To turn the tide on these sobering statistics, The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (which was established in the United States in 2007) urges those with a passion for compassion to shine a light on the plight of both people and animals threatened by the killer disease during World Rabies Day, which takes place each year on September 28.
During the past decade of dedication to the cause countries in every continent have held events ranging from educational rabies quizzes to pass on knowledge to the next generation to free rabies vaccination programs to protect our pals with paws. A full list of events can be found on Global Alliance for Rabies Control’s website, which also offers a series of free webinars and downloadable posters in different languages.
Looking forward to a future where the world’s deadliest infectious disease is a thing of the past, in 2016 The Global Alliance for Rabies Control introduced End Rabies Now, a campaign to put a stop to dog-transmitted rabies by 2030. Launched at the House of Lords in London, the initiative benefits from the partnership of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and World Animal Protection.
Along with support from various organizations, several well-known supporters are helping to raise public awareness of the need to pay heed the dire situation, among them:
- Sir Richard Branson
- Jane Goodall, who stated that “I understand that the persistence of rabies as a modern-day scourge is due to our collective failure of responsibility. We can, and must end the suffering that rabies causes, for the sake of both our human and animal friends.”
- best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency fame, who stepped in front of the camera for a fundraising appeal
For facts about rabies and ways that you can help End Rabies Now:
Photo Credit: Dr. Katie Hampson; Global Alliance for Rabies Control