By Analou de Vera
The Department of Health (DoH) said that it will strengthen its anti-rabies campaign by administering shots to dogs to avoid the increase of rabies cases in the country.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said yesterday that the move is due to the “global shortage of human anti-rabies vaccine.”
“We are shifting the control and prevention sa aso na mismo. The LGUs (local government units) now are also instructed to step up the dog anti-rabies immunization and of course coupled that with responsible ownership,” Duque said during a press briefing.
According to the DoH, rabies is a “human infection that occurs after a transdermal bite or scratch by an infected animal, like dogs and cats. It can be transmitted when infectious material, usually saliva, comes into direct contact with the victim’s fresh skin lesions.”
Asked whether the health department have a stock of human anti-rabies vaccine, “Meron tayo sa DoH. Mahirap magsabi ng stock level pero siyempre pabawas nang pabawas. Ang pagbibigay ng bakuna, tuloy-tuloy pero ang supply mo, pababa nang pababa,” said Duque.
The health department said that rabies infection is responsible for the death of 200 to 300 people annually. In 2016, the department has recorded at least 1.3 million animal bites in the country and recorded 209 deaths.