World Animal Protection launches report to increase awareness on Rabies elimination. Titled “All Eyes on Dogs”, the report has been launched on the occasion of World Rabies Day and shares successful programmes from around the world to eliminate rabies.
“Rabies is entirely preventable and can be eliminated if and only if we focus on dogs. The importance of focussing on animal health, human health and environmental health cannot be overstated. Without swift treatment, this disease is fatal, yet unlike many diseases, is preventable with the right course of action. Culling dogs will not eradicate rabies, but vaccinations will,” said Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection India.
New Delhi (28th September, 2020) – International animals welfare organisation, World Animal Protection has launched an important report titled “All Eyes on Dogs” which provides the first trajectory with actions needed to eliminate dog-mediated rabies by 2030. The report also demonstrates how humane rabies control can contribute to One Health implementation and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The report also provides various success stories and methods adopted to eliminate rabies through interventions like mass dog vaccination, education, responsible dog ownership, and humane dog population management.
Launched on the occasion of World Rabies Day, the report provides successful examples of Mexico, which has been declared a country free of rabies transmitted by dog bites and pilot project in Kenya named ‘Makueni County Rabies Elimination Pilot Project’.
The theme of the 14th World Rabies Day is “End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate”. It is a day to inform and educate people on the need for collective action to eradicate rabies and achieve zero deaths by 2030.
Educative session for students
Commemorating World Rabies Day, Volunteer network team of World Animal Protection also organised a webinar on 26th September, 2020 to sensitize students from National Service Scheme (NSS) units of Delhi College of Arts and Commerce and Bharti College, both of Delhi University on rabies elimination, dog population management and the role of youth in ensuring better lives for dogs.
World Rabies Day awareness session
More than 80 students attended the session and were provided guidance on administrative mechanisms available to resolve any issues or conflicts relating to pets or stray dogs. Students were told about platforms where they can go and take collective action. We would like to thank all our volunteers for helping us in making a difference in the lives of animals.
Today, World Animal Protection and Veterinary Services Department of North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) also organised anti-rabies vaccination drives for stray dogs in different zones in North Delhi. We would like to thank all the officials involved in these vaccination drives for conducting field activities even during this pandemic in order to protect dogs from rabies.
Better lives for Dogs
COVID19 has unveiled the risks associated with zoonotic diseases and catastrophic disruption they can bring. It is evident that zoonotic viruses can cause pandemics, causing extensive human mortality and create a global crises. Rabies is also a zoonotic disease which takes thousands of lives, both humans as well as dogs every year. Now is the time for India to implement a humane dog population management and rabies elimination programme. Comprehensive solutions can be executed through proper planning, multi-sectoral and timely coordination, structured implementation and surveillance.
It will reduce costs, enhance equitable access and improve lives of millions of people and dogs.
Governments must acknowledge that eliminating rabies is a collective responsibility. Treatment for human rabies is much more expensive and often inaccessible than the cost of programmes for control and prevention of dog rabies. Considerably less amount in comparison to the amount spent on post-bite treatment could eliminate dog-mediated rabies in affected areas if spent on dog rabies prevention.
This approach has been successful in Latin America, where cases of rabies in humans have fallen by 95% and in dogs by 98% since the 1980s. Close to 100 million dogs were vaccinated against rabies in one year in the region. World Animal Protection’s ‘All Eyes On Dogs’ report highlights the importance of focusing on dogs and details strategies that Mexico has used to eliminate rabies.