By Piu Sur*
World Rabies Day is the biggest event on the global rabies calendar celebrated every year on September 28 – the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur – since 2007.
World Rabies Day aims to raise awareness and advocate for rabies elimination globally. It is an event designed to be inclusive, uniting people, organizations, and stakeholders across all sectors against rabies – because together we can eliminate rabies. With this concept of togetherness and unity in mind, the theme for this year’s World Rabies Day is One Health, coupled with the reminder of the “Zero by 30” goal and the fact that dog-mediated human rabies elimination is possible. Importantly, for rabies, we have a strong global community, we have the tools and the expertise, and we have a goal for the elimination of human deaths from dog-mediated rabies.
This year Alliance of Animals and People with Pahal got together with other interested people in the community and started working together towards this goal of Zero by 30 and a better future for all. To celebrate World Rabies Day 2022, vaccination campaign, education initiatives, raising awareness or advocating for its elimination based events were organized in Delhi and Kolkata. In Delhi, 147 dogs were vaccinated and free medicine was distributed. Awareness programmes with schools and Aganwadi children were held. Kolkata too organized drawing workshop and community meeting. The children got together to express their love for dogs and made colourful drawings. This event was an opportunity to remind stakeholders that the fight against rabies is not limited to a single day but needs to be conducted in a sustainable way to ultimately decrease the number of rabies deaths.
You too can run dog population management campaigns, organize a competition, or share social media messages with your followers – whatever your activity of choice, under One Health, all walks of life and all partners are equally as important: let’s put One Health into practice and eliminate rabies to achieve Zero Deaths.
*Author is Communication and Education Consultant for www.alliance of animalsandpeople.org