CHINA: Media Coverage Hypes Rabies Awareness

LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – Were you even aware that World Rabies Day existed? Probably not.

According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, rabies kill more than 2,400 people a year in China – that’s the most in the world after India. That is quite depressing considering one can prevent the effects of a bite with a simple vaccination.

After various media reports of recent outbreaks of the disease, The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and China’s Animal Disease Control Center have both signed an agreement to work together on a four-year project that will help save the lives of both people and animals. The WSPA states that over 95 percent of human rabies deaths in Africa and Asia result from dog bites. With the implementation of this new project, not only will vast numbers of Chinese citizens be immunized, but also at least 500,000 dogs will be rescued from being needlessly killed.

Xiao Changyan of the WSPA commented, “We strongly advocate animal welfare agencies create close partnerships with human health, education and social welfare agencies to eradicate rabies…We will also work on rabies’ surveillance; humane prevention, control and elimination; and human and animal health and welfare.” This year, more than 90,000 people in Beijing received rabies vaccinations after being bitten or scratched by dogs or cats.

Whether you knew about it or not, hopefully World Rabies Day will someday be a thing of the past thanks to China and the WSPA’s efforts.

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