The Department of Health (DOH) gets P500M budget for the anti-rabies drive as indicated in the General Appropriations Bill of 2020 in the House of Representatives. DOH aims to eradicate human mortality from rabies in the coming year and declare a rabies-free Philippines.
Rabies kills some 300 Filipinos every year according to DOH. Although the disease is not the leading cause of mortality in the country, the department aims to eliminate human deaths from rabies and declare the Philippines rabies-free by 2022.
Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Michael Defensor said the House-approved General Appropriations Act for 2020 which the DOH’s proposed got the new funding.
“The extra funding for the program is meant to enable the country to finally eradicate rabies,” Defensor said during the observance of the World Rabies Day.
Rabies is a viral disease transmitted from infected animals’ saliva or scratches mostly from dogs to humans. The infection is 100% fatal, yet it is 100% preventable with the vaccination of animals and people, according to the World Health Organization.
The DOH reports submitted to Congress stated that as of 2018, the number of “rabies-free areas” in the country reached 62, up from 49 in 2017.
Defensor reminded the local governments and pet owners of their responsibilities under the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007.
“Local governments are duty-bound under the law to conduct periodic mass vaccinations of dogs, establish databases for registered and inoculated dogs, control homeless and unvaccinated dogs, and conduct public information drives to prevent and control rabies,” he said.
“Pet owners are required to have their dogs regularly vaccinated against rabies, submit their dogs for mandatory registration, maintain control over their dogs at all times, report dog biting incidents inside 24 hours, and assist dog bite victims,” Defensor added.
Death from rabies was reported recently when a 24-year-old woman from Norway died when the stray puppy she rescued while on vacation in the Philippines 3 months earlier bit her and became sick after catching rabies.
The World Health Organization observes September 28 annually as the World Rabies Day “to raise awareness about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in defeating this horrifying disease.”
September 28 marks the death anniversary of the French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur who developed the first rabies vaccine.
Source Link: Manila Standard.Net