Health Surveillance and Disease Management / Veterinary Public Health / Rabies
World Rabies Day: 8 September 2007
Videos from PAHO's Monica's Gang Series,
More on Rabies in the Americas
Regional center for zoonoses, PANAFTOSA
Evaluation Methodology: Elimination of Human and Dog Rabies in Latin America
Results of the Study: Elimination of Dog-Transmitted Human Rabies in Latin America: Situation Analysis
Plan of Action for Rabies Prevention and Control in the Americas, 2005–2009 (in Spanish)
Epidemiological Situation of Rabies in Latin America in 2004, PAHO Epidemiological Bulletin, Vol 26, No. 1, March 2005)
"Working together to make rabies history!" This is the slogan for the first World Rabies Day to be held on 8 September 2007. The World Rabies Day initiative is a global rabies awareness campaign to spread the word about rabies prevention. PAHO is a co-sponsor for this event, along with many national and international partners.
The mission of World Rabies Day is to raise awareness about the impact of human and animal rabies, how easy it is to prevent it, and how to eliminate the main global sources. Even though the major impact of rabies occurs in regions of the world where many needs are present, rabies should no longer be neglected. The tools and technology for human rabies prevention and dog rabies elimination are available.
Rabies in humans is 100% preventable through prompt appropriate medical care. Yet, more than 55,000 people die from rabies every year—a rate of one person every ten minutes. The most important global source of rabies in humans is from uncontrolled rabies in dogs. Children are often at greatest risk from rabies. They are more likely to be bitten by dogs, and are also more likely to be severely exposed through multiple bites in high-risk sites on the body. Severe exposures make it more difficult to prevent rabies unless access to good medical care is immediately available. This major source of rabies in humans can be eliminated through ensuring adequate animal vaccination and control, educating those at risk, and enhancing access of those bitten to appropriate medical care.
In 2006, a group of researchers and professionals formed the Alliance for Rabies Control (of which the WHO is a board observer). They began inviting partners to join the World Rabies Day initiative. The inaugural event now involves human and animal health partners at the international, national, state/provincial, and local levels, veterinary, medical and other specialized professional and student organizations, and corporate and non-profit partners. The goal of this outreach is to mobilize awareness and resources in support of human rabies prevention and animal rabies control. The initiative hopes to engage at least 55,000 people to take action on World Rabies Day, one for each person whose death can be prevented each year.
Event Planning: Local groups that wish to plan an event in their area should feel free to use the materials available on the main WRD website, either for preparing their own materials or for putting them on their own website. The main website also has a directory of events taking place in the different countries.