Challa Babu will never see his 17th birthday because he recently died of a very preventable disease. Even worse, $8.04 in U.S. dollars could have saved him.
Challa Babu, like nearly 55,000* others each year, died from rabies. One hundred children die every day from rabies.
Or let’s look at another number: $8.04. That’s what the postexposure treatment would have cost – 400 rupees – but his parents didn’t have the money to pay for it. To us in the U.S., that’s just a few bucks more than a venti specialty drink at Starbucks.
Sobering, isn’t it? Here in the U.S., we often think of rabies as little more than something we have to vaccinate our animals against every year or every few years…and it’s those vaccinations that have played the most significant role in making rabies a “minor consideration” for most Americans. But people in many countries in the rest of the world can’t afford to take that view.
That’s why World Rabies Day was born. World Rabies Day was officially launched in 2007, and aims to raise awareness about the public health impact of human and animal rabies.
What can YOU do? Vaccinate your animals and keep them away from wildlife that can spread the disease. Rabies is 100% preventable. Learn about rabies and what you can do to prevent it. Consider donating to the efforts to eradicate the virus. Let’s try to eradicate rabies within our lifetime.
*Recent preliminary data suggests that the number is now closer to 70,000 deaths per year with an economic burden of $4 billion (in U.S. dollars).