Rabies remains an under-reported and neglected zoonosis with a case fatality rate of almost 100% in humans and animals.
Dog-mediated human rabies causes tens of thousands of human deaths annually despite being 100% preventable. Over 95% of human cases are caused by the bite of a rabies-infected dog and disproportionately affect rural communities, particularly children, from economically disadvantaged areas of Africa and Asia, where awareness of the disease and access to appropriate post-exposure prophylaxis is limited or non-existent. Unlike for many other zoonoses, the appropriate tools to eliminate dog-mediated human rabies already exist. Dog-mediated rabies can be eliminated at the source by vaccinating dogs, in conjunction with dog bite prevention and bite management, raising of public awareness and improved access to timely post-exposure prophylaxis.
It is in this context that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and supported by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) are organising the Global Conference on the “Global elimination of dog-mediated human rabies: The Time Is Now”.
The conference will convene key participants from Ministries of Health and Veterinary Services, national rabies coordinators from Member Countries, experts from the veterinary and the human health sectors and international organisations, policy-makers, other experts, non-governmental organisations, donors and the private sector.
1. Disseminate results of the proof of concept for the elimination of dog-mediated rabies in different settings and explore expansion and sustainability into other endemic areas;
2. Build support and the case for investment to progress towards dog-mediated rabies elimination from national, regional, global and other stakeholders including the private sector;
3. Promote a One Health inter-sectoral collaboration approach between the human and animal health and other sectors;
4. Shape the forward vision agenda with shared purpose in collaboration with donors and stakeholders for the elimination of dog-transmitted human rabies.