Today is World Rabies Day and our teams are out in force saving lives around the world, not just today but every day.
Rabies is deadly; killing 59,000 people every year but the world's deadliest zoonotic disease is actually 100% preventable. Over 120 counties throughout the world are still affected by rabies - that is over 61% of all countries, all over the world! 36% of all human rabies cases occur in Africa, meaning that more than 21,000 people die from rabies on the African continent annually.
The vast majority of cases of human rabies develop following a bite from an infected dog, with around half of all dog bites and rabies deaths occurring in young children. Ultimately, every death that is caused by rabies could be completedly avoided and WVS along with our sister charity Mission Rabies strongly believes that canine-mediated rabies could be completely eliminated by the year 2030.
So, how can this be achieved? By going to the source and vaccinating dogs which is absolutely pivotal to interupt the transmission of rabies to humans and this is what WVS and Mission Rabies are doing and have been doing for several years.
These truly concerning statistics coupled with seeing firsthand the devastating effects of rabies on animals and people inspired WVS founder Luke Gamble to launch the initiative 'Mission Rabies' in September 2013. The aim of this initiative was to eliminate rabies by the year 2030 by aiming to vaccinate at least 70% of the dog population in the countries affected by rabies - a target that was agreed with the WHO (World Health Organisation)
WVS in particular are vaccinating dogs against rabies in the key countries that we are based - Thailand, India and Malawi and we are also supporting our colleagues at Mission Rabies with their amazing work in places like Goa, Sri Lanka, Malawi, India and many other countries around the world. Mission Rabies are currently in the midst of their rabies vaccination drive where they are aiming to vaccinate at least 70% of the dog population in the Bardez region of Goa. Education is also paramount and teams of education volunteers are visiting schools to raise awareness about rabies.
Just £5 can help us vaccinate 20 dogs against rabies and this £5 will save countless lives.
Will you help us eliminate rabies? Please donate what you can today.