The End Rabies Now Campaign Launches
The End Rabies Now campaign was officially launched on Wednesday, 24th February at the British Houses of Parliament in London.
The launch event was co-hosted by Lord Trees and Lord Crisp. Lord Trees is the former President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and Lord Crisp is the former Chief Executive of the UK’s National Health Service and is co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health.
- The End Rabies Now campaign is calling for an end to human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030. Campaign partners will support advocacy efforts to persuade countries, policy makers and donors of the feasibility, merit and value of investing in rabies elimination strategies.
The 2030 target is achievable if national governments and international donor community and agencies make a commitment to allocate funding specifically for dog vaccinations in endemic areas.
More than 99% of human rabies is transmitted by dogs, and vaccinating dogs is the most effective way of eliminating human deaths from rabies.
Speaking at the launch, Lord Trees said, “50 years ago as a student I learnt that the key to controlling human rabies is controlling dog rabies. It is time we got on with it and vaccinated dogs to eliminate this terrible human disease which every year kills four times as many people as the Ebola outbreak of 2014.”
The guest speaker at the launch was the writer and explorer, Major Levison Wood, known for his ground-breaking and highly acclaimed TV documentaries, “Walking the Nile” and “Walking the Himalayas”. He told the audience: “It makes sense to focus on prevention. If you are some-one living in remote and impoverished communities, prevention is effectively the only cure. That is why I think the End Rabies Now campaign is so important. I would urge you all to support the appeal for more dog vaccinations.”
Prof. Louis Nel, the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control said, “This horrible disease is fully preventable and completely unnecessary. It is our social responsibility to end the ongoing and tragic neglect of this disease right now. Dog rabies belongs to the history books."
Also speaking at the event, Steve McIvor, CEO at World Animal Protection, said: “Mass killing dogs in response to rabies is often done in inhumane ways and is ineffective. There is no evidence to show that mass killing of dogs reduces their numbers in the long term, or has an effect on rabies transmission.”
The campaign is coordinated by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC). Campaign partners include the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and World Animal Protection. A full list of partners can be found here: https://endrabiesnow.org/supporters.
Submitted by Kevin Doran, a Public Affairs Advisor working for GARC