Bicol LGUs urged to step up anti-rabies drive

Bicol LGUs urged to step up anti-rabies drive

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Health in Bicol (DOH-5) has appealed to local government units (LGUs) to reinforce the implementation of their anti-rabies ordinance to ensure public health and safety.

In a recent interview, Aida Ruby Jeremias, DOH-5 Rabies Program Coordinator, appealed to local officials to allocate funds for the implementation of the anti-rabies measures.

“Sa ating pong mga local government units at sa ating mga local government officials and doon po sa mga kakandidato na mahahalal ngayong eleksyon, ina-advocate namin at ipinapakiusap na sana’y bigyan naman po ng pondo o funding para pagbili ng anti-rabies vaccine for animals (To our local government units and LGU officials, and to candidates who will be elected, we appeal that they allocate funds for the purchase anti-rabies vaccines for animals),” she said.

Jeremias said a total of 28 accredited animal bite treatment centers have been established across the Bicol region to provide immunization, screening, management of all animal bite cases and conduct investigation of reported human rabies cases and other similar related initiatives.

She said this is one of the programs being implemented by the DOH-5 to address bite cases and rabies deaths.

“Igwa na po kitang 28 centers; may nadagdag na palan na na-certified na animal bite center. Naging 28 na po ang animal bite center natin sa Bicol (We already have 28 because there is an additional certified animal center. So our animal bite centers in Bicol now number 28),” Jeremias said.

Jeremias said Rural Health Units (RHU) are also advised to refer their bite cases to these established animal bite centers in their respective areas or provinces. All provinces in Bicol now have established bite centers, she stressed.

She said there are three such centers each in Albay, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes; eight in Camarines Sur; seven in Sorsogon and four in Masbate.

Jeremias also said 90 percent of the region’s total animal population have been vaccinated against rabies through these centers in 2021. (With a report from Bernadine Carretas/PNA-OJT)