In many ways, rabies takes advantage of the special relationship between man and dog. The two species have lived in close quarters and relied on each other for protection, food and companionship for thousands of years. Preserving this cherished bond and delivering populations - urban and rural - from untold suffering and financial cost, must be a priority for governments wherever rabies holds sway.
Rabies is one of the world's most tragic diseases, not only because of the dreadful effects it has on the people and animals who become infected but also because it is entirely preventable. Its greatest burden falls on poor rural communities across Africa and Asia, where it causes one death every 10 minutes and where tragically children under the age of 15 are at a particularly high risk of dying.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 55,000 people die a terrible death from rabies every year. 40% of them are children. The suffering endured by people who get rabies is horrible - an awful way to die, and for others to see.