The Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte through the Provincial Health Office and the Provincial Veterinary Office joins the celebration of the World Rabies Day on October 4, 2017 at Macapagal Training Center in Pigcarangan, Tubod.
Ms. Lucita B. Bering, N-II, Rabies Program Coordinator, presented the Rabies Program Updates to the participants from the Department of Agriculture, personnel from the Rural Health Units and the Barangay Health Workers.
According to Ms. Bering, rabies remains to be a public health problem in the Philippines. It is the most acutely fatal infectious disease responsible for the death of 200-300 Filipinos every year. In the Province of Lanao del Norte, three Provincial Hospitals and one RHU have been chosen as Animal Bite Center ABC) or Animal Bite Treatment Center (ABTC) to address such cases; these are the Provincial Hospitals in Baroy, Kolambugan & Kauswagan, and the Rural Health Unit in the Municipality of Linamon.
In the presentation, Ms. Bering discussed the incubation period of the deadly disease. The average incubation period of human rabies is between one-three (1-3 months). In 90-95% of cases, incubation period is less than one year but may be longer in 5-10% cases.
The duration of the incubation period depends on certain factors: 1. The amount of virus inoculated into the wound or mucosa. 2. The Severity of Exposure – patients with multiple and / or deep penetrating bite wounds may have shorter incubation period. 3. Location of Exposure – patients with bite wounds highly innervated areas and or close to central nervous system may have shorter incubation period.
For 2017 Anti-Rabies Vaccination covering the months of January to September, the Province of Lanao del Norte has vaccinated 10, 837 out of 23, 883; that is 45.4% of the estimated total population of dogs in the province.
Issues and Bottlenecks were also discussed in the program. The lack of vaccine supply, Clients hopping from one ABC to another, Failure of clients to complete the vaccination period due to financial constraints, no name a few. And possible solutions were recommended such as, Lobby to LCE to augment anti-rabies vaccines and syringes to its constituents, and Additional Trained ABTC personnel.
In spite of the current issues, Dr. Fritz Paler-Provido, Provincial Veterinary Officer, remains optimistic to achieve the goal of “Rabies: Zero by 2020,” if all concern agencies will work together to end or if not decrease the number of human rabies cases by constantly encouraging owners to vaccinate their pets with anti-rabies as responsible dog owner. PIO-LDN