Every year on 28 September World Rabies Day is observed across the globe. The day was instituted to create awareness about the impact of the viral disease and focus on ways of preventing it. It is the only global day of action and awareness for rabies control and prevention.
More than creating awareness, the date of 28 September has been selected as it marks the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur, a renowned French chemist and microbiologist who, along with his team, developed the first-ever effective vaccine for rabies.
What is Rabies
It is a fatal disease, which is caused after an individual or an animal is bitten or scratched by a diseased animal. More than 20,000 deaths occur in India every year due to rabies, as per World Health Organisation (WHO).
This day was first observed and marked in the year 2007. The first ever Rabies Day was conducted in collaboration with Alliance for Rabies Control and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, USA along with WHO.
As people became more aware of the impacts of the disease, the importance of the day also increased. Henceforth, renowned organisations began observing the day after people across the world suffered from adverse effects of rabies.
The theme for 15th World Rabies Day this year is ‘Rabies: Facts, not Fear.’ The objective of the theme is to end the fear of people about rabies and empower them with correct facts about the disease. Moreover, the theme also focuses on sharing facts about the disease and not spreading fear, misinformation and myths about it.
Apart from raising awareness about the impact of rabies on animals and humans, the World Rabies Day also helps in providing information on how to prevent the disease and support advocacy in rabies control.
On this special day, vaccination drives are conducted at several places across the country. Many educational institutions also set up vaccination camps and hold awareness campaigns.