By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
RABIES deaths in the region ballooned to 20, according to the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Western Visayas.
Ame Liz Mardoquio, program coordinator of the CHD-6 Rabies Prevention and Control Program, expressed alarm over the 20 deaths in the region in a press conference on Monday at the Iloilo City Hall.
Mardoquio emphasized that there is still a shortage of both canine and human vaccines in the region.
“May shortage kita subong both sa canine and human vaccines. Indi pa gid amo na ka stable ang aton mga vaccines,” she said.
According to Mardoquio, the region is in need of 37,352 vials of human vaccines per quarter but the current supply for Western Visayas is 29,084 vials.
“The region has a total supply of 29,084 vials where 27,000 were from the central office. More than 2,000 vials gin-purchase sang region,” Mardoquio explained.
Rabies Prevention and Control Program Medical Coordinator, Dr. Marie Jocelyn Te, said that rabies is actually preventable through vaccination.
“Rabies is preventable, but it can be fatal if not countered with vaccination,” Te said.
For this reason, Te underscored the need to practice responsible pet ownership as well as strict implementation of policies of local government units (LGUs) on anti-rabies campaign.
She also encouraged the local government to allot funds for anti-rabies vaccination.
“We really need to practice ang responsible pet ownership. We should all target to eliminate rabies by the year 2030,” Te emphasized.
From January to August 2019, 20 rabies deaths in the region were recorded in Negros Occidental (9); Iloilo Province (4); Aklan (3), Capiz (2), and one death both in Antique in Iloilo City.
The number was significantly higher than the 17 recorded deaths from January to December 31 last year, Mardoquio emphasized.
Meanwhile, data from the health department showed that there 47,257 animal bite cases in the region from January to June this year.