Guimaras aims to be rabies-free in 2011
Guimaras (29 March) -- The island of Guimaras aims to be rabies-free by 2011 as it seeks to maintain a zero record of rabies since 2006.
Guimaras Information Officer Leny Gabo-Fible said this is possible as the province has recently been chosen as a pilot area in Western Visayas for intensive Rabies program implementation launched there by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) last March 25.
This initiative, under the National Rabies Prevention and Control Program is jointly undertaken with the World Health Organization (WHO) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
Dr. Raffy Deray, Program Medical Coordinator, said Guimaras is among the provinces in three countries that includes the Philippines, chosen out of 11 proponents around the world to receive the grant.
Deray said Guimaras was chosen among the pilot areas in the country because of its initiatives and effective campaign in support of Rabies Prevention, and for its being a premier tourist destination next to Boracay.
Deray also said that the local officials of the province were noticed to be very active in implementing so many programs hence, it is capable of achieving the target.
Dr. Ma. Sofia Pulmones said that the challenge for Guimaras is to have 50 percent of the dog population vaccinated, with 70 percent of the total vaccines needed to be provided by the BMGF.
Fible, on the other hand, said the zero rabies record for Guimaras will be sustained through massive promotion for responsible pet ownership and the adoption of rabies prevention ordinances in each barangay in the province.
The launching of the program was highlighted by the signing of commitment by partner agencies and witnessed by the Municipal Health Officers, Municipal Agriculture Offiers and barangay officials. (PIA6/ESS) [top]