It’s World Rabies Day and together with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) we are delighted to announce the signing of a global memorandum of understanding (MOU) to complement efforts to combat rabies across the world.
Rabies is a disease of poverty and mainly affects children living in marginalized societies. Over 95% of human rabies deaths today occur in Africa and Asia as a result of being bitten by an infected dog. Up to 60% of all dog bites and rabies deaths occur in children under 15 years of age.
Although rabies is renowned as being one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world, none of the tens of thousands of people and animals that die every year need to have succumbed to this disease. It is virtually 100% preventable through a One Health approach that involves collaboration across the human and animal health and welfare sectors.
The MOU will enable cooperation in different countries in the areas of rabies surveillance, humane prevention, control and elimination, and the promotion of human and animal health and welfare.
Dr Deborah Briggs, GARC’s Executive Director, said “We welcome this agreement with WSPA on the eve of World Rabies Day. As an important One Health partner, we look forward to working with them in countries where rabies still poses a very real threat to humans and animals.”
We plan to build on our work with GARC to support local governments in the Philippines and make parts of Metro Manila rabies-free communities. This will be achieved through the implementation of a comprehensive rabies control programme anchored on mass dog vaccination and promotion of responsible pet ownership.
Mike Baker, WSPA Chief Executive, said “We are pleased to be signing an MOU with GARC to work together to combat this tragic and deadly, yet entirely preventable disease. Through holistic vaccination programmes, we can shift people’s perceptions of dogs in communities. This will end the needless practice of dog culling and help protect human lives”.
This is an exciting and significant moment for both organisations, and a major step in the fight to end rabies across the world.