World Rabies Day is observed on September 28 every year to raise awareness about the impact of the viral disease and how to prevent it. This day is also observed globally to mark the death anniversary of French biologist, microbiologist and chemist, Louis Pasteur, who developed the first rabies vaccine. This is the only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention.
World Rabies Day was observed for the first time on 28 September 2007. The event was a collaboration between the Alliance for Rabies Control and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, along with the World Health Organization (WHO). The organisations started observing this day after the world suffered from the adverse effects of rabies.
The day is observed every year to raise awareness about the impact of rabies on humans and animals, provide information and advice on how to prevent the disease in at-risk communities and support advocacy for increased efforts in rabies control. It is an important day for the world to acknowledge the terror in people of the disease. The day focuses on better care for animals and spreading knowledge on tackling an adverse situation like rabies.
This year, the theme for World Rabies day is ‘Rabies: Facts, not Fear’, based on ending the fear from the people and empowering them with the facts. The theme is aimed at sharing facts about rabies and not spreading fear about the disease by relying on misinformation and myths.