The Next Generation of Rabies Champions – World Rabies Day 2020
Global Alliance for Rabies Control and the International Veterinary Student Association have formed a partnership to work towards molding the next generation of veterinary professionals to become rabies champions at a local, national and international level.
Rabies is a 100% preventable zoonotic disease that continues to scourge the lives of both humans and animals across the globe. The most effective and efficient means to eliminate human rabies is through the targeted vaccination of at-risk dog populations. By ending the disease in dogs – the primary reservoir for human rabies – we can relieve the global burden that primarily affects the poorest and most underserved communities.
The Global Strategic Plan and the “Zero by 30” rabies elimination goal focus entirely on a country-centric approach, with sustainability in mind. Considering this, it is pertinent to focus the attention of education, training, and awareness initiatives on the youth to foster the next generation of rabies champions. It is for this reason that the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) and the International Veterinary Students Association (IVSA) have formed a formal partnership to work towards molding the next generation of veterinary professionals to become rabies champions at a local, national and international level.
Our first joint activity is the announcement of a competition that encourages novel and innovative ideas from all of the IVSA Member Organizations around the world to educate and raise awareness within their own communities. Through such activities, the next generation of experts can learn, innovate, and build their own profiles as future global leaders in rabies elimination.
Global Alliance for Rabies Control, Executive Director, Prof Louis Nel; ‘The 2020 World Rabies Day theme emphasised collaboration and vaccination as dog rabies control requires a collaborative, One Health, approach with the human and animal health sectors working together to eliminate the disease. In line with this theme, we are delighted to be working together with the IVSA to share the veterinary students’ initiatives to raise awareness, promote education and undertake dog vaccination programs in local communities against the disease.’
International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA), President, Merel Knoops said; IVSA has been active in the fight against rabies through raising awareness for a couple of years now, specifically through our Standing Committee on One Health. Zoonoses, such as rabies, highlight the importance of the connection between human and animal health, and even more so, the need for a multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach. Through this campaign, together with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, we hope to not only educate our members, but also to incentivize them to actively participate in the fight against rabies themselves.