World Rabies Day: Uniting for ‘One Health’

Rabies has remained prevalent in many countries despite evidence that controlling dog and other animal rabies through vaccination and eliminating stray dogs can reduce human rabies cases.

According to the World Health Organization, rabies is endemic on multiple continents and causes an estimated 60,000 deaths each year, with 40 percent of the victims being children. Rabid dogs are responsible for over 90 percent of human exposures to rabies and 99 percent of human rabies deaths worldwide.

In the Philippines, the Department of Health reported an increase in rabies cases and deaths, with more than 60 cases so far this year.

Rabies is a viral disease primarily transmitted through the saliva of infected animals, commonly through bites. The rabies virus affects the central nervous system; it is almost universally fatal once symptoms appear. While mammals can contract rabies, dogs are a primary transmission source to humans.

Compassion and awareness are invaluable in eradicating the devastating grip of rabies, while honoring humanity’s four-legged friends who play a crucial role in this mission. Dogs and cats, our loyal companions, stand as ambassadors of love and protection, reminding us of the importance of responsible pet ownership and vaccination. A united effort will create a world where no pets suffer from this preventable disease, where our furry friends can live their lives to the fullest. | PHOTOGRAPHS BY Analy Labor FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE @tribunephl_analy


World Rabies Day, observed annually on 28 September aims to raise awareness about the infection, transmission, and health issues related to rabies, and supports global efforts in its prevention and control. It also commemorates the death of Louis Pasteur, a French scientist and microbiologist who developed the first rabies vaccine.

Established by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control in 2007 and promoted by WHO, this year’s theme is “All for 1, One Health for All,” emphasizing the need for a collaborative approach involving experts from human, animal, and environmental health sectors.

The 17th World Rabies Day highlights that One Health is not for a selected few but for everyone to save lives and strengthen national health systems.

Through collaboration, sector-wide cooperation, community engagement, and a commitment to sustained animal vaccination, we can collectively strive towards eliminating a single disease, using rabies as a prime example.

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