The annual World Rabies Day was celebrated on 28 September, as it is marked every year. This day was set aside to remind the world of the importance of Rabies elimination in our different communities globally. It is of course quieting that though we are well into the 21st century, Rabies is still preponderant.
Every year, we are reminded of the scourge and the dangers and destruction of lives it has brought on its trail. Intriguingly, it is a 100% vaccine preventable disease and 90% fatal when it does occur.
This year’s theme RABIES: FACTS NOT FEAR should elucidate the simple knowledge that must be dispensed to people to be aware of when dealing with the threat of rabies.
Regardless of wherever we are, we should confront problems of lack of data, inadequate laboratory surveillance, uncoordinated mass vaccination programs, lack of political will by different tiers of governments and total abandonment of Stepwise Approach to Rabies Elimination (SARE) as laid down by the global governing authorities of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC).
Nonetheless, a concerted approach is hereby advocated by the Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA) utilizing all the tools already established to pave way for the elimination of Rabies by 2030.
We therefore hope everyone celebrated a memorable World Rabies Day even as we dispense Facts and confront the unsubstantiated Fears.
Dr Olatunji Nasir,
Commonwealth Veterinary Association.