The World Rabies Day is being observed today including in Nepal by organising various programmes.
September 28 each year is observed as the World Rabies Day to raise awareness about rabies including prevention measures and accomplishments in the global flight against the disease.This year’s World Rabies Day theme 2023 ‘All for One, One Health for All highlights that health is a concern for all.
French scientist Louis Pasteur was the person who historically discovered the vaccine against rabies, an illness caused by RABV which is commonly transmitted to human through dog bites.

The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) initially observed World Rabies Day in 2007, later receiving official recognition from the World Health Organization (WHO).Nepal aspires to eliminate rabies cases by 2030, although significant challenges persist. Dog bites are responsible for 99 cases of rabies in the country. According to data from the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division for the last fiscal year, there were 75,562 cases of illness due to dog bites, with 9,921 cases resulting from bites by other animals.
The incidence of dog bites rose from 32,882 in fiscal year 2075-76 BS (2018-19) to 54,996 in 2020-21.

The disease resulted in 10 deaths in the fiscal year 2070-71 (2013-14) and it was followed by 13 deaths in 2014-15, six in 2015-16 and eight in 2016-17. It had caused 32 fatalities in 2017-18 and 18 in 2018-19.
Rabies remains a deadly viral disease but is preventable through vaccination. It can be transmitted through bites from stray dogs, jackals, bats, leopards, cats, and mongooses.The first symptoms of rabies include weakness, discomfort, fever, headache and as the disease progresses, one may experience anxiety, confusion to hydrophobia (fear of water), and insomnia.When bitten by an animal, it is recommended for cleaning the wound thoroughly with running water for 15 minutes and seeking timely vaccination, which is available free of cost at primary health centers. The use of turmeric and chili on the wound increases the risk of infection.In the last fiscal year, the country consumed 250,000 vials of rabies vaccines.