By John Noel E. Herrera
As part of the celebration of World Rabies Day on Sept 28, 2022, the Iloilo Provincial Veterinary Office (IPVO) strengthened its campaign of vaccinating dogs against rabies.
PVO head Darel Tabuada said that aside from the campaign of the IPVO and Iloilo Provincial Capitol, several local government units (LGU) in the province have started their own vaccination of dogs and awareness campaigns about rabies, such as in the towns of Miag-ao, Oton, and Alimodian.
Data from IPVO indicated that from January to July 2022, over 153,000 dogs in the province have been vaccinated against rabies.
Tabuada said that out of the 307,578 total dog population in Iloilo province, only 153,175 have been vaccinated as of July, far from its target vaccination rate this year.
The provincial government aimed to achieve a 70 percent vaccination rate for dogs this year, however, data showed that the province only managed to vaccinate 49.80 percent of the dog population.
The IPVO also said that with three months left in 2022, there is just a small chance left that they will be able to hit their target numbers, but they will still do their best to increase it through vaccination campaigns as part of World Rabies Day.
Tabuada also pointed out the shortage of anti-rabies vaccines as one of the factors for the low turnout of vaccination rate.
Governor Arthur Defensor Jr also acknowledged in a press conference on Sept 23, 2022, that there are some towns in the province that are not allocating funds for rabies vaccines.
Defensor, however, clarified that these towns have the freedom to decide where to use their own funds.
Tabuada also said that some municipalities lack funds to vaccinate at least 70 percent of their total dog population.
The provincial government allocated P4 million to purchase 11,000 vials of vaccines in 2022, enough to vaccinate 111,000 dogs in the province.
For 2023, Tabuada revealed that Defensor allocated P7 million to purchase vaccines as the provincial government requested all the towns to allot funds and provide their own vaccinators.
“We will already provide the vaccines to the LGUs to cover the 70 percent of the dog population. The towns just need to assure that they will have their local vaccinators already,” Tabuada said.
Meanwhile, the town of Oton has the highest vaccinated dogs so far with 13,695, followed by Dingle with 8,635; Ajuy (7,940); Leon (7,672); Miag-ao (7,430); Dumangas (7,160), and Igbaras (6,299).
Data from IPHO also indicated that the province recorded five fatalities and 79 canine rabies cases this year.