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PIA Press Release

WHO country rep joins launching of rabies-free Visayas islands campaign

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (23 March) -- Dr. Soe Nyunt-U, country representative of the World Health Organization (WHO Philippines) will be in Ilolilo City March 24 to join the Iloilo provincial government in the launching of the Visayas Islands Rabies Free Zone Program.

Dr. Patricia Grace S. Trabado, Provincial Health Officer II said that rabies is a fatal disease in the country, and Iloilo province ranked number one for human rabies casualties with 16 deaths in year 2005.

"Since then, for the past four years, there are twenty-four deaths," Dr. Trabado said.

Trabado said that the Visayas Islands Rabies-Free Zone Program is being funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation thru WHO and the Department of Health.

This is a five-year plan covering the entire Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and two provinces of Central Visayas.

For Western Visayas, Iloilo province is a priority because of its high endemicity on human rabies and canine rabies, and has the highest number of recorded and reported animal bites, Trabado said.

Dr. Trabado will give the rabies situationer in Iloilo province during the launching of the program.

To deliver important messages during the launching are Iloilo Governor Niel D. Tupas, Sr.; Dr. Jaime Y. Lagahid, Director III, Infectious Disease Office of DOH; Dr. Victor Atienza of DA-Bureau of Animal Industry; Dr. Ariel Valencia of DOH-CHD Western Visayas; Dr. Raffy Deray, program medical coordinator of the National Rabies Prevention and Control Program; and Dr. Roni Philip Brodit, MHO of Barrotac Nuevo. (PIA6) [top]

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