LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte, Nov. 11 (PNA) — The Provincial Veterinary (PVET) Office in Ilocos Norte in partnership with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) here is striving to free people and animal from rabies.
Over the last 18 months, Ilocos Norte has maintained zero rabies case, working towards a rabies-free province by 2015.
As of press time, organized Bantay Rabies Barangay volunteers are in Batac City to conduct mass vaccination of domestic dogs while promoting responsible pet ownership and humane dog population control.
On April 2012, a memorandum of understanding was inked by the provincial government of Ilocos Norte with the GARC to institute public awareness and education for the success of rabies control programs covering the 557 villages of Ilocos Norte.
“For more than one and a half year now, we have not monitored any case of rabies case both in humans and animals,” said Dr. Loida Valenzuela, provincial veterinarian of Ilocos Norte, citing the province is working towards the achievement of rabies-free Ilocos Norte next year, which is way ahead of the national target.
Should Ilocos Norte maintain zero rabies case by next year, Valenzuela said that the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) will be validating reports for the possible declaration of the province as a rabies-free area.
Under RA 9482 or the so-called “The Rabies Act of 2007”, a rabies control ordinance was approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte to strictly implement measure on rabies control.
Based on initial report shows that 35 percent of Ilocos Norte’s 76,000 dog population are now vaccinated against rabies.
In cooperation with the Department of Education, the GARC launched the CARE project in El Nido, Palawan in 2011. Around 5,000 children aged 5-15 years in all 27 public schools in the area were given pre-exposure immunization to protect them from rabies.
The schools also taught children about the disease which include topics such as how rabies is transmitted, how to avoid dog bites, what to do if they are bitten or scratched and responsible pet ownership.(PNA)