World Rabies Day is dedicated to raising global awareness about rabies, with a primary focus on its prevention and control. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, typically transmitted to humans through infected dog bites. While rabies has a mortality rate of nearly 100 percent, it is preventable by vaccinating dogs, providing post-exposure prophylactic treatment for dog bite victims, and raising awareness about the disease.
Today, on the occasion of the 17th World Rabies Day, the Quadripartite Regional Coordination Group composed of Regional Representatives/Directors of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH-founded as OIE), together with the Pan-African Rabies Control Network (PARACON) of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), are collectively making a joint appeal to the regional and national leaderships, institutions, donors, development financers, philanthropic organizations and individuals to unite resources and synergize efforts in order to expedite the realization of the global target to eliminate human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030, in the African continent.
This year’s Word Rabies Day’s theme is “Rabies: All for One, One Health for all.” This theme emphasizes the collaborative advantage of working together to ensure the health of animals, humans, and the environment.
The Quadripartite, supported by the global leaders and experts, is promoting the One Health approach for prevention and control of zoonotic diseases and other health threats.
With only seven years remaining to the target of eliminating dog-mediated rabies by 2030, the disease is still endemic in the majority of African countries. Nevertheless, rabies control in many countries has seeded multisectoral collaborations especially between the veterinary and public health sectors, paving the way for the start of One Health collaborations for prevention and response to zoonotic diseases and other One Health threats.
The Quadripartite and PARACON recognize that the goal of eliminating human deaths from dog-mediated rabies cannot be achieved through siloed approaches and requires a strong collaboration based on the five pillars of global framework for the elimination of dog-mediated rabies namely socio-cultural, technical, organizational, political and resources.
Together, the Quadripartite and PARACON have been providing technical support to Member countries in Africa in their efforts to eliminate dog-mediated rabies. We are advocating for a “One Health and whole of society approach” to accelerate the momentum towards the achievement of this ambitious target in the African continent and for the commitment of national leaders to prioritize rabies elimination in their countries.
We reiterate our commitment to partner with Member countries, while actively collaborating with financial and other technical partners including GAVI and other private partners, to accelerate the rollout of both human and dog rabies vaccines in lower-income countries. We wish the Members and partners a successful World Rabies Day. Together, we will work towards elimination of human deaths from dog-mediated rabies, to achieve “All for One and One Health for all.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.