Rabies control in PH gets P500M funding

  • The Philippines will have a P500-million funding for the rabies control program.
  • Anakalusugan Rep. Mikee Defensor said that the new allocation will be part of the budget of the  Department of Health for 2020.
  • As of 2018, the number of “rabies-free areas” in the country had reached 62, up from 49 in 2017.

MANILA, Philippines—The rabies control program in the country will get a P500-million funding for 2020, a lawmaker said Monday.

The National Rabies Prevention and Control Program is getting P500 million in fresh funding next year, Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Michael Defensor said on the occasion of World Rabies Day.

“The extra funding for the program is meant to enable the country to finally eradicate rabies,” Defensor, vice-chairman of the House health committee, said.

The program’s new allocation is lodged in the budget of the Department of Health (DOH) in the proposed General Appropriations Act for 2020 that the House has already approved, Defensor said.

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Photo from rabiesalliance.org

The DOH aims to eliminate human deaths from rabies by next year, and to declare the Philippines Rabies-Free by 2022.

As of 2018, the number of “rabies-free areas” in the country had reached 62, up from 49 in 2017, the DOH said in a report submitted to Congress.

Though not a leading cause of mortality in the country, rabies still kills some 300 Filipinos every year, according to the DOH.

The viral disease is transmitted from animals (mainly dogs) to people. It is spread to humans through close contact with the infected dog’s saliva via bites or scratches.

Rabies is 100 percent fatal and yet 100 percent preventable with vaccination in animals and people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In May, a 24-year-old Norwegian woman died after catching rabies from the bite of a stray puppy that she rescued while vacationing in the Philippines three months earlier.

The woman did not seek immediate post-exposure vaccination. She became sick and eventually died after returning to Norway.

Defensor reminded local governments and pet owners of their obligations under the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007.

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Photo from The Jakarta Post

“Local governments are duty-bound under the law to conduct periodic mass vaccinations of dogs, establish databases for registered and inoculated dogs, control homeless and unvaccinated dogs and conduct public information drives to prevent and control rabies,” Defensor said.

“Pet owners are required to have their dogs regularly vaccinated against rabies, submit their dogs for mandatory registration, maintain control over their dogs at all times, report dog biting incidents inside 24 hours and assist dog bite victims,” Defensor said.

Source: House of Representatives


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