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PIA Press Release

DOH-CHD aims for rabies-free Visayas by 2015

Bacolod City (16 March) -- The Department of Health-Center for Health Development has conducted an orientation among Municipal and City Health workers, veterinarians and other stakeholders on Rabies-Free Visayas Project which aims to eliminate rabies by 2015.

The Visayas group of islands is the pilot area for the 5-year project which started late last year that the DOH-CHD is conducting together with the World Health Organization.

This project wants to reduce the incidence of human rabies by 50 percent per year, make all the local government units enforce Rabies-Free ordinances, provide them with technical assistance and logistical augmentation, maintain and sustain 100 percent Animal Bite Centers in terms of logistics and to increase dog vaccination coverage to 70 percent of the total dog population.

DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral (extreme right) with (l-r) Board Member Dr. Melvin Ibaņez, Neg. Occ. Gov. Isidro P. Zayco, CLMMRH Chief of Hospital Dr. Epifania Simbul, Bacolod Lone District Representative Monico Puentevella, Medikotek?s Marivic Banal accompanied by foreign guests from Medikotek and Philips Healthcare posing behind the model structure of the 6-storey Bacolod Heart, Lung and Kidney Center.*(PIA/EAD)

Based on the DOH records, the estimated total dog population in Western Visayas in 2009 is 807,197 and at the end of the project, its vaccination target is 70 percent or an estimated total of 565,042 dogs vaccinated.

Dr. Ma. Sophia Pulmones, Chief of Local Health Support Division of the DOH-CHD for Western Visayas said that as March is being celebrated as the Rabies Awareness Month, rabies control and prevention is being highlighted by the project.

Pulmones added that their major task is to implement the project and declare Negros Occidental and the whole Western Visayas as rabies-free.

In 2009, Negros Occidental scored 86.67 in terms of the enforcement of the rabies control ordinance of the province following Guimaras with 100 percent enforcement of its ordinance.

Human rabies cases in Negros Occidental in 2009 numbered to three while there are six cases in 2008. In both 2008 and 2009, Bacolod City reported no incidence of human rabies case.

DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral said the incidence of rabies has gone down from years before when lots of people contracted rabies leading to death. Incidence of rabies as reported and treated in hospitals has also gone down.

For Western Visayas, since 2006 where there are 20 cases of human rabies it has gone down to 15 in 2007, 14 in 2008 and 13 in 2009 as reported by DOH. (PIA/EAD) [top]

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