PIA News Service - Saturday, March 9, 2013



March is Rabies Awareness Month

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 9 (PIA) -- The Department of Health-Center for Health (DOH-CHD)-Caraga is commemorating rabies awareness month this March.

During the media forum held here recently, Rabies Nurse Coordinator Ms. Lourdes Plaza said rabies remains a public health problem in the Philippines. The annual incidence of rabies from 1987 to 1997 ranged form five to nine cases per million population.

Approximately 300 to 600 Filipinos die of rabies every year. In Caraga Region, nine rabies deaths occurred in 2011 and 3 in 2012.

Plaza also said the decline is attributed to the following factors: increased level of awareness among the public where and when to seek immediate treatment, establishment of Animal Bite Treatment Centers in strategic areas regionwide with trained doctors and nurses, good referral system, intensive advocacy on Responsible Pet Ownership, close collaboration with partner agencies, strong support of the Local Government Units (LGUs), and enforcement of RA 9482 or Anti-Rabies Act of 2007.

The Department of Agriculture also strengthened their dog vaccination activities.

March of every year is celebrated in the Philippines as Rabies Awareness Month to create and focus the public’s consciousness with this fatal disease. For this year’s celebration the theme is “Working together for a Rabies-Free Philippines: Register and Vaccinate your Dog.”

With the aim of eliminating rabies and declaring the Philippines Rabies-Free in 2020, the Department of Health through its Centers for Health Development, provides technical assistance, logistics and health promotion activities to LGUs, partner agencies and the community to ensure full implementation of the Law especially on Responsible Pet Ownership. (DOH-CHD 13/PIA-Caraga)