Rabies lessons in school earn Asian admiration
by Rey Anthony Chiu
Tagbilaran City (13 February) -- FROM Bohol's smallest town comes the biggest snap in rabies prevention.
And Visiting Asian learners who saw rabies disease prevention and control topics incorporated in the school curricula agree it is a pro-creative way of engaging the children in a war against a silent killer.
Asian visitors from neighboring countries watched school children in Corella Elementary School bark and yelp answers when teachers randomly picked on them. Instead of picking ordinary sentences as motivation, teachers leashed their discussions on rabies.
Asian learners watched in Bohol the pilot implementation of a province-wide disease-control program for rabies and hopes to possibly craft a template for emulation by other areas still plagued by the disease.
The Department of Education has piloted rabies education in Corella in response to the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Eradication Council (BRPEC) request to get an information campaign program started early.
With school children at risk, Corella principal Dolores Cuizon told visitors that rabies discussion in classes may be incorporated in English, Mathematics and Science.
In Corella, the classes were each handled by Mrs. Ma. Lourdes Lupase for Grade V, Mrs. Fernanda Ribay for Grade VI and Ms. Priscilla Kae Penales for Grade 2.
Visitor veterinarians and policy decision makers from China, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, South Korea as well as representatives from the United Nations also agree that early rabies lessons would predispose children to be responsible pet owners and keep away from the risk of rabies.
The previous day before the visit to the school, Provincial veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz reiterated during the program Orientation that sustainability of the program would entail the collaborative efforts of all Boholanos.
The Bohol Rabies Prevention and Eradication Program aimed at making Bohol rabies free by 2010.
Governor Erico Aumentado has said that Bohol could not stand the risk of rabies especially with the dream of making Bohol a top tourism destination in the country.
As such, while he unleashed the BRPEC to oversee the provincial program, he also asked for counterpart funds from the Capitol to lend the program its bite.
The Council also mobilized Boholano sectors to initiate a massive dog registration and vaccination drive followed by neutering or elimination of stray and unwanted dogs.
Corollary programs for monitoring and surveillance, putting up animal bit treatment centers and convincing politicians to fund the programs sprung the program to action.
Recently, the campaign also earned allies with Alliance for Rabies Control, a Scottish NGO put up multi-million funds for a 4-year program implementation. This too was after the UN aided Bohol with initial funds to start the program running for the whole province. (PIA) [top]