As the lead sector responsible in the prevention and control of animal diseases in the region, the GMA-Livestock Banner Program conducted an information campaign on Rabies to help pet owners be aware of their responsibilities in ensuring that their dogs are properly vaccinated to prevent cases of rabies infection in their areas.
A tie-up program with the Provincial & City Veterinary office, highlights of the celebration include free rabies vaccination for pet dogs in the area and a film showing of actual rabies infected patients who succumbs to an agonizing and horrible death due to rabies. Dr. Catherine Simon of the Regional Animal Disease & Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) also gave a brief lecture on how to properly handle rabies cases both for the victim and the animal. Meanwhile, Grade IV – VI pupils from San Carlos City’s elementary schools also competed in the slogan and poster making contest which concluded the day’s activities.
According to Dra. Constancia Diaz of the GMA-Livestock Banner Program, the Philippines currently ranks 6th worldwide in incidence of rabies. Region I ranks number 1 entire the country with most number of rabies cases and Pangasinan is the top ranking province for positive rabies cases in the region. Data also shows that about 10,000 dogs are believed to be infected with the disease each year.
Rabies is primarily an animal disease transmitted to humans by bites of an infected animal. The fatality rate for rabies is almost always 100 percent but despite being a fatal disease, rabies is easily preventable through vaccination.
With an increasing number of cases recorded each year in the region for rabies infection, most of which are recorded in the Western District of Pangasinan, the DA is vent on making a massive information campaign and the conduct of veterinary medical mission to eliminate poor public awareness of the disease and curtail laxity of dog owners to have their pet dogs vaccinated. Through these efforts aimed at promoting responsible pet ownership, DA hopes to rid the country of the problem by CY 2020. ##