Vaccinate Dogs and End Rabies

Posted on 28/09/2019 by former employee Tanvi Rastogi

People have limited awareness of rabies, one that it is transmitted by dogs. They hardly have any other understanding of rabies.

Are you observing World Rabies Day?

Rabies takes thousands of lives every year whether it is of humans or of dogs. Yes! You read correctly rabies is also attributed to deaths of dogs. Its attribution is not as same as humans though. Rabies is a zoonotic disease and one of the neglected tropical diseases. Rabies has the highest fatality ratio among communicable diseases about 100%. It primarily affects the poorest people, largely children, and most deprived dogs.  

What do you know about rabies?

People have limited awareness on rabies, one that it is transmitted by dogs and second few injections can help in preventing exposure to rabies after a dog bite. They hardly have any other understanding of rabies. The fear of rabies and a high rate of injuries caused by dog bites are the biggest drivers for culling and mistreatment of dogs. An estimated 20000 human deaths and 17.5 million animal bites are reported annually in India. To curb rabies, hundreds of dogs suffer culling. There is no estimate of how many dogs die due to culling. It is inhumane and illegal. Information on culling of dogs only disseminates through media reports and informal channels. 

How do we prevent rabies?

It is possible to prevent and eliminate the disease through vaccinating dogs and practicing responsible ownership. These are the most effective ways to sustainably prevent rabies in dogs and in people. There is widespread evidence that mass dog vaccination and the availability of PEP treatment for humans bitten by a rabid dog is the most cost-efficient and equitable approach to rabies elimination.  Dog vaccination reduces the transmission of rabies to humans and eliminates the need for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) as a part of a dog bite patient care. Treatment for human rabies is much more expensive and often inaccessible to poor people than the cost of programs for control and prevention of dog rabies.

Fear won't help you. Vaccinating dogs will help you.

Fear makes us act impulsively and irrationally. Most people forget that rabies is a problem and not dogs. Dogs are also victims of rabies as humans are. Don’t let fear drive your actions. You have a chance to save lives. Vaccinate your dog and approach authorities to vaccinate stray dogs in your vicinity.