The Department of Health-Center for Health Development in Western Visayas is urging local government units in the region to allot funds for their anti-rabies program.
In a press conference Monday, AmeLiz Mardoquio, program coordinator of the CHD-6 Rabies Prevention and Control Program, noted that the vaccine allocation both for canines and humans in the region is not yet “stable”.
“There is a shortage of vaccines, both for canines and humans,” Mardoquio said.
She said that from January to August this year, Western Visayas had a total supply of 29,084 vials; 27,000 vials came from DOH central office while 2,084 vials were purchased, using the PHP2.5-million regional allocation for the year.
The total need of the region per quarter is 37,352 vials, Mardoquio said.
While they continue to appeal for responsible pet ownership, DOH urged local government units to implement their anti-rabies ordinance and allot funds for the acquisition of vaccines.
Dr. Marie Jocelyn Te, DOH-CHD 6 medical coordinator, said the national government has allocated only a small amount for the anti-rabies program so it is high time that LGUs “have to put up a budget for dog vaccination”.
“They are now aware that they really have to put up budget next year,” she said.
Te added that herd immunity can be achieved if 70 to 90 percent of the dog population is vaccinated.
She revealed during the press conference, that from January 1 until the end of August this year, Western Visayas had 20 human rabies deaths.
Negros Occidental had nine deaths; Iloilo province, four; Aklan, three; Capiz, two; and one death each in Antique and Iloilo City.
“Rabies is preventable by vaccination but it can also be fatal once it is not fettered by vaccination,” she said.
The DOH-CHD 6 semi-annual report for rabies registered 47,257 animal bite cases from January to June this year. Majority are dog bites.
The highest bite cases were recorded in Iloilo province with 13,315; Negros Occidental, 10,413 cases; Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC), 10,389 cases.
Meanwhile, Aklan province has 2,172 cases; Antique, 1,454; Capiz, 2,196; Guimaras, 1,718; Iloilo City Health Office, 443; Bacolod City Health Office, 4,320; and Corazon Locsin Montelibano Regional Hospital, 837 cases.*PNA
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