Ifugao on verge of becoming rabies-free province
by Dan B. Codamon
Lagawe, Ifugao (26 June) -- After a relentless information campaign and massive anti-rabies vaccination for dogs since 2007 when there was a reported fatal case of a person killed with rabies, the province is now proud to declare that it is now on the verge of becoming rabies free.
During the Provincial Rabies and Birds Flu Summit held recently at the Gazebo Garden here, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and the Provincial Veterinary Office are all one in pronouncing that there are no more rabies cases in Ifugao compared with the other Cordillera provinces.
Our goal of becoming a rabies free province by 2020 can now be realized with this development exclaimed Mr. Gilbert Caclini, Head of the Animal Division of the Provincial Veterinary Office that is spearheading the anti-rabies campaign and vaccination.
The summit is a joint venture by the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine National Police, Department of Health and the local government units of Ifugao.
Its main purpose is to strengthen the existing ordinance of the province to let the LGUs adopt effective measures against dog diseases and other animal illnesses affecting people in pursuance with Republic Act 9482 or the Rabies Act. It also discussed the rabies in animal and human updates and among others the birds flu level of preparedness, wild bird handling and the swine flu updates.
Mr. Jerry Sabado of the DA Cordillera Region reported that so far there was no case of the dreaded avian or bird flu in Ifugao and this can be attributed to the high level of preparedness of the people and task force.
Nevertheless, the task force should not let its guard down but should still continue monitoring the influx of the migratory birds bringing the disease at the swamps of Hungduan, Lamut and Aguinaldo municipalities to detect the presence of the disease.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mary Josephine Dulawan, Ifugao Provincial Health Officer and head of the Provincial Swine FluTask Force announced that there is still no case of the illness in the province but we must be wary of its entry as it is already infected some nearby provinces.
She cautioned that swine flu should not be the proper term for it but A(H1N1) virus as it is not transmitted from pigs to human but from human to human therefore the reference is a misnomer that can give a negative impact and destroy the swine industry.
The participants specially those coming from the LGUs are advised to urged their municipal officials to craft ordinances pertinent to these diseases in order to improve their level of preparedness and effectiveness in managing or preventing them. (PIA Ifugao) [top]