In response requests from to World Health Organization (WHO) Member States, in May 2013, the 66th World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA66.12; this resolution urged WHO Member States ‘to ensure continued country ownership of programmes for neglected tropical disease prevention, control, elimination and eradication’.
In September 2015, the Member States of the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Agenda, and more specifically Goal 3.3., commits WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to work with UN Member States towards ending epidemics of neglected tropical diseases, including rabies, by 2030.
In December 2015, at the global conference titled ‘Global Elimination of Dog-mediated Human Rabies: the Time Is Now’, international consensus was reached and correspondingly established 2030 as the goal date for the elimination of dog-mediated human rabies. This was globally recognised as an aspiration and an achievable target by both the animal and public health sectors.
In May 2016, the Member Countries of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) adopted Resolution no. 26, which recommended that ‘the OIE, in partnership with WHO, FAO and other interested parties, sustains its commitment to the elimination of dog-mediated rabies as a priority in the public interest’. The resolution also recommends that ‘the OIE and OIE Member Countries maintain their efforts to foster political will and long-term commitment for the elimination of dog-mediated rabies’.
The United Against Rabies collaboration calls upon governments to take a step towards the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.3.
Stemming from, and building on, the global consensus reached through the adoption of the resolutions, WHO, the OIE, FAO and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) joined forces and formed the United Against Rabies collaboration. This platform has pledged its commitment and technical support to assist and accompany the efforts of rabies-endemic countries to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030.
Together, the United Against Rabies collaboration calls upon national governments to take an active and important step towards the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.3, by endorsing the following statement and committing their country to take part in the fight against this important neglected disease:
‘In response to this call, [name of the country] reaffirms its commitment to prioritise rabies prevention in its national plans and work with human and animal health stakeholders to eliminate rabies deaths nationally by 2030’.