QUEZON CITY- As rabies continues to be a public health problem in the Philippines, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has called on local chief executives (LCEs) to support the Rabies Awareness Month celebration this March with the theme, "Rabies Iwasan, Alaga'y Pabakunahan."
In a directive, DILG Secretary Ismael D. Sueno is enjoining all LCEs to mobilize their respective Provincial/City Veterinary Offices and their Municipal Agriculture Offices to support the event by implementing control measures for the prevention and eradication of rabies.
Sueno urges governors and mayors to undertake activities to raise awareness about rabies mitigation and responsible ownership.
"Local execs should ensure that all dogs within their jurisdiction are registered and more importantly, immunized for managing rabies exposures," he said.
Some of the activities that LCEs may spearhead are hanging of streamers, posters, and other information materials in conspicuous places and organize training on rabies awareness advocacy.
Sueno also directed all DILG Regional Directors and Field Officers to cause the widest dissemination of the said issuance to all local government units (LGUs) and others concerned within their respective jurisdictions.
As defined by the Department of Health (DOH), rabies is a human infection that occurs after a transdermal bite or scratch by an infected animal like dogs and cats. It can be transmitted when infectious material, usually saliva, comes into direct contact with a victim's fresh skin lesions. It may also occur, though in very rare cases, through inhalation of virus-containing spray or through organ transplants.
Based on the DOH's data, rabies is considered to be a neglected disease, which is 100% fatal though 100% preventable. It is not among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the country but it is regarded as a significant public health problem because it is one of the most acutely fatal infections responsible for the death of 200-300 Filipinos annually.
Source: Philippines Information Agency