According to the World Health Organisation, the theme of World Rabies Day 2022 is ‘Rabies: One Health, Zero Deaths.’
It is celebrated annually to raise awareness about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in defeating this horrifying disease. September 28 also marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s death, the French chemist and microbiologist, who developed the first rabies vaccine.
World Rabies Day is an international awareness campaign coordinated by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, a non-profit organization with headquarters in the United States. It is a United Nations Observance and has been endorsed by international human and veterinary health organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
World Rabies Day takes place each year on September 28, the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur who, with the collaboration of his colleagues, developed the first efficacious rabies vaccine. World Rabies Day aims to raise awareness about the impact of rabies on humans and animals, provide information and advice on how to prevent the disease in at-risk communities, and support advocacy for increased efforts in rabies control.
Rabies remains a significant health problem in many countries of the world. Over 99% of all human deaths caused by rabid dog bites happen in the developing world, with 95% of deaths occurring in Africa and Asia. With the exception of Antarctica, people and animals on every continent are at risk of contracting rabies.
One major problem with rabies prevention is a lack of basic life-saving knowledge among people at risk. Organizations working on the issue can often feel isolated, and, as a neglected disease, rabies does not attract sufficient resources, even though the world has the tools and knowledge to prevent rabies and nobody needs to die from this disease.
Health awareness days can help to improve policy on diseases and increase resources to prevent and control them. This understanding led to the development of an awareness day against rabies.