The total cost of rabies globally is estimated to be around $8.6 billion per year in lost lives, lost livelihoods and high costs of treatment. Rabies today is a disease of poverty and neglect.
It is estimated that if no additional measures were taken, one million people would die from rabies between 2020 and 2035. That estimate was made before the Covid pandemic, which significantly set back all public health services, including rabies control.
Barriers to progress include lack of sustained planning and funding around rabies control, lack of political engagement, weak data, lack of surveillance and reporting, inconsistent demand for canine vaccine and high cost and unequal access to PEP. Dog vaccination, a key element of rabies control, often falls ‘between the cracks’ of public health, agricultural and veterinary sectors and is often left to under-resourced local government authorities.
Yet vaccines against rabies have existed for over 100 years. The disease is 100% preventable and human deaths from the disease have been eliminated in most of Europe and North America.
United Against Rabies is committed to enabling cross-sector partnership and support for countries to implement the objectives agreed in Zero By Thirty: The Global Strategic Plan to End Human Deaths from Dog Mediated Rabies by 2030.