The African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources joined partners during the week commencing on 26th September, 2022 to support World Rabies Day - and raise awareness and public understanding about the importance of rabies prevention. This year’s theme, Rabies: One Health, Zero Deaths highlighted the connection of the environment with people and animals. The celebrations were held in Abuja, Nigeria, under the host of the Government of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
On 26th September 2022, AU-IBAR and other partners; notably the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), USAID, World Health Organisation, BreakThrough Action and Research, Federal Ministry of Health (Nigeria), and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, participated in the launch of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Dog-mediated Human Rabies.
On Tuesday 27th September 2022, AU-IBAR joined other partners (Global Alliance for Rabies Control, Food and Agriculture Organisation, United Nations Environment Programme, World Health Organisation, and World Organisation for Animal Health) in the Africa Regional Webinar, under the theme “One Health: Building momentum to zero human deaths from rabies in Africa by 2030. The Webinar Objectives were:
• To discuss regional progress towards rabies elimination.
• To foster awareness of the tools, resources, and technical support available
• for advancing the rabies elimination agenda.
• To harness One Health multisectoral approach in rabies elimination.
During the webinar opening, Dr Nick Nwankpa, AU-IBAR’s Acting Director, informed participants that the annual livestock losses in Africa attributable to rabies are approximately US$ 280,000,000 resulting in a gross domestic product loss of US$ 773,000,000. Rabies outbreaks in wildlife mainly originate from the Human-Animal-Wildlife Interface around national parks and during the hunting of wild animals. The Acting Director emphasized that AU-IBAR will continue to partner with the Member States and Regional Economic Communities to develop and implement their national and regional Rabies Elimination strategic plans. The meeting was informed that AU-IBAT has provided in developing strategies for Guinea Conakry in 2012, Kenya in 2015, Cote d’Ivoire in 2016, RAHC-ECOWAS in 2020 and recently Nigeria, which was launched in September 2022. Access Full Speech
On World Rabies Day, 28th September 2022, AU-IBAR joined commemorative events at Dukku, Gombe State. The highlight of the event was a flag off of mass dog vaccination with the community and school children.