Dog rabies vaccination coverage low; prov’l vet warns of higher rabies risk

Home   /   Dog rabies vaccination coverage low; prov’l vet warns of higher rabies risk

first_imgRabies, while fatal, is preventablewith vaccination, stressed Dr. Marie Jocelyn Te, also of DOH-6’s RabiesPrevention and Control Program. For this year, the region’s requiredtotal number of vials of human vaccine is 149,408 or 37,352 vials per quarter.However, said Mardoquio, the region only got 29,084 vials (27,000 from theDOH central office and 2,000 purchased by its regional office).  On top of the rabies vaccine supplyfrom BAI, said Tabuada, said the provincial government purchased 1,300 vialsgood for 13,000 dogs. “The 20 percent is equivalent to52,945 dogs out of the 258,403 total dog population of the province,” saidTabuada. As the disease progresses, morespecific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slightor partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, salivation,difficulty in swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). The rabies virus primarily affects thecentral nervous system. The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar tothose of many other infection — fever, headache, and general weakness ordiscomfort. “If thereare many rabid dogs, the chances of them biting humans arehigh.Ginatan-aw naton nga maga-increase ang aton rabies-related human deaths,” said Tabuada. ILOILO – The lower the dog rabiesvaccination coverage, the higher the risk of the public being exposed to therabies virus, warned the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO). “May shortage kita both sa canine and human vaccines. Indi pa gid stableang atonsupply,” said Ame Liz Mardoquio, DOH Region 6’s coordinator for the RabiesPrevention and Control Program. The PVO has so far recorded four suchdeaths this year. “Lastyear ang rabies vaccine allocation from BAI is around 17 vials good for170,000 dogs. This year, BAI released to us only 500 vials good for 5,000dogs,” said Tabuada. The PVO would also lobby for a budgetof P4 million solely for the procurement of rabies vaccines, he added. “Mangayo kami sa mga banwa sangsupport. At least makahatag man sila para mabakunahan ang dogs nila,”said Tabuada. Among Filipinos, dogs account for 98percent of rabies infection, cats account for the remaining two percent,according to DOH.center_img REGIONWIDECONCERN The Philippines is among the top 10countries with the highest incidence of rabies in the world. DOH estimates thatabout 100,000 Filipinos are treated for dog bites and 200 to 300 die fromrabies annually. The low rabies vaccination coverage isdue to the limited vaccine supply from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), heexplained. Tabuada proposed that for year 2020local government units should contribute to the PVO’s rabies vaccine supply. Year 2019 is ending in two months butaccording to Dr. Darel Tabuada of the PVO, their dog rabies vaccinationcoverage is so far at 20 percent only. This year’s dog rabies vaccinationcoverage target is 70 percent, equivalent to 170,000 dogs. Rabies primarily affects warm-bloodedanimals other than man, notably dogs, cats, rats, and bats, but which can betransmitted to humans by infected animals.  The rabies virus, which ispresent in the saliva of an infected animal, is passed to a human through abite, or rarely, when the animal’s saliva gets in contact with a scratch orfresh break in the skin. But“tama gid kagamay,” saidTabuada. In 2018, DOH-6 recorded a total of 17human rabies deaths throughout Western Visayas. The dearth of anti-rabies vaccines,however, is not confined to Iloilo province; it is a regionwide concern,according to the Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas. Last year, PVO’s dog rabiesvaccination coverage (January to October) was at 69 percent equivalent to173,672 dogs. An infected dog can transmit therabies virus even before it becomes ill, but it will invariably manifest signsand symptoms of rabies including change in behavior such as unprovokedaggressiveness and excitability, paralysis, and hydrophobia within five days,and die within two weeks, after it gets infected./PNlast_img

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