‘World Rabies Day’ is observed worldwide to mark the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur, a French biologist, microbiologist and chemist who developed the first rabies vaccine. It’s a day where Anti Rabies actions are collated, intensified and showcased.
World Rabies Day is the first and only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention. It is an opportunity to unite as a community — helping individuals, NGOs, and governments connect and share their work. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) joins countries from around the world to promote rabies awareness and prevention. September 28, 2021 will mark the 15th World Rabies Day. To celebrate this milestone, this year’s theme focuses on sharing facts about rabies and dispelling myths or misconceptions. In brief, the theme reminds us of key current global issues that also affect rabies elimination, namely:
Fake news and how it can negatively affect our rabies elimination efforts. Facts are the only way to beat fake news, so help share accurate facts and ensure decisions about rabies control in Canada are based on the correct and most up-to-date information.
World Rabies Day 2021: Theme
This year’s theme for World Rabies day is: “Rabies: Facts, not Fear” based on ending the fear from the people and empowering them with the facts. This year’s theme is focused on sharing facts about rabies, and not spreading fear about the disease by relying on misinformation and myths. Last year the theme was “End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate” and for 2019 the theme was “Rabies: Vaccinate to eliminate,” followed by 2018’s theme which was “Rabies: Share the message, save a life”.
Vaccine hesitancy and the misconceptions about vaccination. Sharing facts about the benefits of vaccinating animals against rabies and ensuring those exposed receive post-exposure prophylaxis helps dispel myths about rabies vaccination to ensure everyone is protected and the disease eliminated. We can rid our communities of vaccination fears by sharing accurate facts. The global COVID-19 pandemic has raised many doubts and misconceptions about how diseases are spread and vaccinations in general. This has led to vaccine hesitancy among some populations in some countries. Unfortunately, fears, misconceptions, and misinformation about rabies and its prevention dates back hundreds of years. Therefore, this year’s theme focuses on sharing rabies facts and dispelling misinformation and myths.
Facts are essential for raising disease awareness, preventing rabies cases, vaccinating the animal population, and educating people about the dangers of rabies and how to prevent it. Without facts, we would be unable to advocate for its elimination and the burden of the disease would remain unknown, resulting in 10s of thousands of people and animals continuing to die from rabies each year. Let’s use facts to raise awareness and educate others about rabies — a 99% fatal, yet 100% preventable disease.
Let’s work together to spread facts, and not fear, this World Rabies Day!
World Rabies Day Events
Visit the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) website to find information about organizing World Rabies Day events. This site has event toolkits, awareness resources, and free downloadable logos in multiple languages. Use #WorldRabiesDay to promote your event.
GARC also offers free online courses to improve the skills and knowledge of people working in rabies awareness and prevention.