Rabies is endemic in both humans and animals in the Asia Pacific Region (AP Region), with dog-mediated rabies being the predominant source of disease. However, it is often under-reported and is therefore considered to be a neglected disease. Over 95% of human rabies cases are associated with dog bites. Rabies control and subsequent elimination necessitates a multi-sectoral collaboration, using a One Health approach.
Although rabies is a 100% preventable disease, it continues to kill tens of thousands of humans and animals in the AP Region and therefore it is important to continue to advocate for sustainable actions by countries. The World Rabies Day (WRD), observed on 28 September every year, is a day dedicated to bringing the focus back to rabies as a neglected zoonoses and in committing collective actions to tackle this dreaded disease.
As done in the past, the Regional Tripartite observed the WRD on 28 September 2020 by organising a webinar for the AP Region to rededicate ourselves in enhancing our efforts towards elimination of this dreaded disease. Based on topics already covered in previous webinars, and feedback from members, the focus of this year’s webinar was related to: risk communication, disease surveillance and strategic dog vaccination, and developments in human prophylaxis, besides sharing updates on global progress.
The event was held in zoom and livestreamed via Youtube from 3 pm Tokyo time, Monday 28th September.