ON AVERAGE, rabies still kills someone, somewhere in the world, every nine minutes, with dog bites the cause of almost all human cases.

Marking World Rabies Day last weekend, the United Against Rabies collaboration has highlighted its three-pronged strategy to improve on that awful statistic – increasing awareness of the disease; vaccinating dogs to prevent the disease at its source; and administering life-saving treatment after people have been bitten.

On the occasion of the 12th World Rabies Day, the campaign, which involves the World Health Organization, World Organisation for Animal Health, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, reiterated its aim to rid the world of human rabies deaths by 2030.

To this end, the alliance has been delivering high-quality dog rabies vaccines to 29 countries, alongside training to develop capacity for laboratory diagnostic testing of rabies. These efforts were the foundation of the Second Full Pan-African Rabies Control Network meeting, which united health and agriculture representatives from 24 African governments to share updates on their human vaccination schedules and disease surveillance work.