The World Rabies Day 2022 theme is here!
World Rabies Day is the biggest event on the global rabies calendar, coordinated by GARC and it has been commemorated every year on September 28 – the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur – since 2007. World Rabies Day aims to raise awareness and advocate for rabies elimination globally. It is an event designed to be inclusive, uniting people, organizations, and stakeholders across all sectors against rabies – because together we can eliminate rabies! With this concept of togetherness and unity in mind, the theme for this year’s World Rabies Day is:
Rabies: One Health, Zero Deaths
Why this theme?
Every year, we select a theme that we believe is most relevant to the current situation and global trends for rabies and also health in general. Therefore, this year’s theme will focus on One Health, coupled with the reminder of the “Zero by 30” goal and the fact that dog-mediated human rabies elimination is possible. We purposefully created a theme with a positive message by highlighting and reminding the global community that rabies elimination is possible, that we have a goal (Zero by 30) and that we stand united against this dreadful disease. This positive message aims to be a refreshing break following the worst of the COVID pandemic, all the fear and negative messaging and reports, and the negative public responses to vaccination mandates for COVID. Importantly for rabies, we have a strong global community, we have the tools and the expertise, and we have a goal for the elimination of human deaths from dog-mediated rabies. So, the message focuses on coming together to make positive change and achieve what we know is possible: rabies elimination.
Now that we have the overall concept and the theme, let’s explore the meaning behind each aspect of the theme:
Considering the severe impact that COVID had on public health and its effect on rabies control programs globally, we wanted to bring focus back to rabies so that we can regain the momentum that had been created over the last few years towards achieving rabies elimination.
One Health is a concept that is becoming increasingly entrenched in disease control programs. As recent examples such as COVID-19 and antimicrobial resistance have shown the world, the health of people, animals and the environment are all inextricably linked and interdependent. The importance of One Health is also evident through the discussions and its mention in the G20 summit (2020) among other major platforms, as well as the development of the WHO NTD roadmap and the One Health companion document that specifically mention rabies.
Rabies elimination exemplifies the One Health approach, with participation and collaboration from human, animal, and environmental sectors. Furthermore, it is commonly used as an example of operationalizing One Health. This One Health aspect of the theme has been designed to be inclusive, ensuring everyone (whether you are a professional or a member of the public interested in rabies) sees themselves as an integral partner who can make a difference and help us as a collective to achieve rabies elimination. The spirit behind this theme encourages collaboration, partnership, and a joint approach towards rabies elimination – or “Zero Deaths”, in line with the “Zero by 30: Global Strategic Plan for the elimination of dog-mediated human rabies deaths by 2030”.
The second part of the theme refers to “Zero deaths”. This aligns directly with the Zero by 30 Global Strategic Plan and highlights that rabies is preventable and that it can be eliminated as well. In fact, rabies is the only vaccine-preventable Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). This part of the theme also reminds us that we have a clear goal to work towards, and while significant progress has been made, we need to continue to work together to achieve this goal.
The Banner design
The next step would be to register your World Rabies Day 2022 event! Get together with partners or other interested people in your community and start working together towards our goal of Zero by 30 and a better future for all. Under this year’s theme, any rabies elimination work can be undertaken. Celebrate World Rabies Day 2022 with a vaccination campaign, education initiatives, raising awareness or advocating for its elimination. Run dog population management campaigns, organize a competition, or share social media messages with your followers – whatever your activity of choice, under One Health, all walks of life and all partners are equally as important: let’s put One Health into practice and eliminate rabies to achieve Zero Deaths!