World Rabies Day is an international awareness campaign coordinated by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, a non-profit organization with headquarters in the United States.

It is celebrated annually to raise awareness about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in defeating this horrifying disease.


Rabies remains a significant health problem in many countries of the world. Over 99% of all human deaths caused by rabid dog bites happen in the developing world, with 95% of deaths occurring in Africa and Asia. With the exception of Antarctica, people and animals on every continent are at risk of contracting rabies.


The first World Rabies Day campaign took place on 8 September 2007 as a partnership between the Alliance for Rabies Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA, with the co-sponsorship of the World Health Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Pan American Health Organization.

It has also been used by governments and international agencies as a day on which to announce policies, plans, and progress on rabies elimination. For example, in 2013, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, the World Health Organization, and the World Organisation for Animal Health first called for the global elimination of canine-mediated rabies in a joint statement released on World Rabies Day. It has been included in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Rabies Elimination Strategy.

At the first Pan-African Rabies Control Network meeting in 2015, the 33 African countries represented there recommended consideration of World Rabies Day as an opportunity for rabies advocacy. In the Philippines World Rabies Day has been observed at the national and local government levels since 2007 and is part of its National Rabies Prevention and Control Program.


This year’s World Rabies Day theme is: “Rabies: Facts, not Fear”.

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