Rabies continues to be a public health problem in the Philippines, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) said that the Philippines is one of the top 10 countries in the world with rabies problem. In fact, 300 Filipinos die from rabies disease each year according to the studies conducted by WHO.
In response to this problem, the DOH and the DA have renewed their commitment to end the rabies disease by increasing rabies prevention awareness. The City Government of Tagbilaran joined the call and launched the “Responsible Pet Ownership” campaign in all the 15 barangays. Through the City Agrivet Office led by Dr. Genette Egos, the campaign kicked-off last March 18 and is currently doing its rounds in the City’s 15 barangays. City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap congratulated the efforts of the unit during its launch in the City Hall Atrium, “Being a responsible pet owner is one of the most cost-effective strategies to prevent rabies. The information education campaign will definitely reinforce awareness and responsible management among pet owners”, said Mayor Yap.
Aside from responsible pet ownership, the campaign also emphasized that pets should be leashed in public places and should be vaccinated once a year. The lecture also covered the fines and penalties implemented in Tagbilaran City. DOH Secretary Francisco Duque said the campaign targets to “declare the Philippines a rabies-free country by 2030.”
Rabies is an infectious viral disease that is almost always fatal following the onset of clinical symptoms. In up to 99 percent of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to humans. Yet, rabies can affect both domestic and wild animals. It is spread to people through bites or scratches, usually via saliva. According to the data from WHO, at least one-third of deaths of human rabies are among children less than 15 years old. The WHO noted that animal bite cases have been increasing for the past five years and dogs remain to be the principal cause. For inquiries concerning responsible pet ownership, you can directly contact the City Agrivet Office through 0945-1631299 and 0918-3618277.