by Theresa Arlene A. Gambe
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–In commemoration of National Rabies Awareness Month in March, the Department of Health-Center for Health Development Northern Mindanao (DOH-CHDNM) prompted the public to be vigilant about the deadly rabies virus and urged pet owners to join the vaccination rollout, here.
“Since ang rabies is 100% fatal, ato gyung goal is to control and prevent the transmission of rabies. Ang goal sa DOH sa national rabies prevention and control program is to eradicate rabies cases totally sa atong whole country by 2030,” said Dr. John Daniel Estandarte, medical officer of the DOH-10 Infectious Diseases Cluster, during the Talakayan sa PIA, media forum at SM Uptown CDO, March 10.
(Since rabies is 100% fatal, our goal is to control and prevent the transmission of rabies. DOH’s goal with the national rabies prevention and control program is to eradicate rabies cases totally in our entire country by 2030)
The DOH has identified priority barangays that have the highest cases of rabies in humans and dogs. Vaccination sites and Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials will be concentrated in these barangays: Balulang, Bulua, Camaman-an, Carmen, Consolacion, Dansolihon, Kauswagan, Macabalan, Macasandig, Pagatpat, and Puntod.
In Cagayan de Oro, fellow city health veterinarian Dr. Perla T. Asis explained that at least 70% of the dog population has to be vaccinated in order to attain herd immunity.
“Tinuod gyud na nga ang dogs are considered man’s best friend. Mao na nga kung naa gani tay iro, kinahanglan responsible pet owner ta. Kinahanglan ato gyud na pabakunahan unang-una sa rabies at the age of three months, then every year thereafter,” said Asis.
(It’s true that dogs are considered man’s best friend. That’s why, if we have dogs, we have to be responsible pet owners. We have to get our pets vaccinated, first of all, against rabies at the age of three months and then every year thereafter)
Asis noted that through R.A. No. 9482, also known as the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007, irresponsible pet owners may be penalized with a fine between P200 and P2,000.
She further added that all warm-blooded animals are susceptible to rabies. As such, it is not only limited to animals such as cats and dogs. (TAAG/PIA-10)