What was achieved with your help for World Rabies Day 2019?

World Rabies Day, celebrated on September 28 each year, brings individuals, organisations and governments under one theme to raise awareness about rabies and its prevention. This year, 240 events were held across 65 countries to spread the message “Rabies: Vaccinate to Eliminate”. GARC’s free downloadable resources helped support people’s efforts on the ground, with over 1000 downloads of the three social media toolkits (Weekday Hashtag, Did you know..? and Rabies: Vaccinate to Eliminate) and over 7000 downloads of the theme banner logo for World Rabies Day.

The World Rabies Day Awards were held for the fourth consecutive year by Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) and MSD Animal Health to highlight the valuable work done in communities internationally to eliminate rabies. In 2019, six individuals and organisations, received the awards as recognition for their outstanding contribution in the battle against rabies.

World Rabies Day banner 2019

Examples of how you helped us fight rabies across the world

With help from GARC and its resources, people across the world held a wide variety of events. Some consisted of mass vaccination campaigns while others focused on local culture and fun sporting events.

The Netherlands, despite being rabies-free, used the opportunity to organise an athletic event and fundraise to support vaccination campaigns in Madagascar, while in the USA, mobile clinics stole the show by raising money and awareness to vaccinate community cat populations. In Yemen, a one-hour TV interview was given to raise public awareness while the Ivory Coast vaccinated 1200 animals and held a celebratory ceremony for those who had undergone the training necessary to participate. Peru gave informative talks to pet owners and professionals at a local zoonoses control centre while Russia focused on a scientific conference as well as teaching workshops and sharing resources for children.

Taiwanese World Rabies Day poster
A customised World Rabies Day poster from Taiwan

Taiwan’s events were held at the Taipei Veterinary Association and hosted by the government of New Taipei City, with activities such as vaccinations and a participatory photo challenge for pet owners and their animals. Many more events were held, in both rabies-endemic and rabies-free countries, highlighting the importance of these events in both achieving and maintaining freedom from rabies. See what events took place in your country.

The ICAM coalition (of which GARC is a partner) also organised a march against rabies in Kenya, following the ICAM Conference on dog population management, where GARC representatives gave talks on rabies elimination and useful tools in achieving it.

 

When every click counts: World Rabies Day online

World Rabies Day events attract significant media attention for rabies, both through the established media channels and through social media networks. GARC’s posts on facebook during September 2019 reached over 40,000 people and an additional 115,000 impressions via Twitter. On the day itself, thousands were reached using #WorldRabiesDay as the core hashtag.

World Rabies Day 2019 once again proved that creativity and cooperation can make a big difference in local communities across the globe, saving lives through the message ‘Rabies: Vaccinate to Eliminate’.

You made a difference by sharing, reposting and liking our posts – so please continue to help! Every bit counts to raise awareness and educate people about rabies. Continue to contribute by following us on Social media.

 

Contributed by Kerenza Vlastou, GARC Outreach Manager