Rabies in the Philippines
Rabies continue to be a public health problem in the Philippines. The country is one of the top 10 countries with rabies problem. It is responsible for the deaths of 200 to 300 Filipinos per year. In 2010, 257 died of rabies, and in 2011, 202 deaths were reported.
At least 1/3 of deaths due to human rabies are among children less than 15 years old. Animal bite cases has been increasing for the past 5 years. At least 328,459 persons in 2011, and 266, 220 individuals in 2010 were bitten by animals. Almost half of rabies exposures are among school children. Dogs remain the principal cause of animal bites and rabies cases.
Region 5 has 26 rabies cases in 2011, the highest among the regions. Bukidnon registered 13 cases, the highest among the provinces in the country.
WHO supported Region 5, in partnership with the Department of Education, in continuing its initiatives to include rabies program activities in their elementary school curriculum. The region has developed the teaching materials, as well as the monitoring and evaluation tools to assess the practices of school children, teachers and the community.
The Province of Kalinga was also supported by WHO. All mayors were provided with orientation and advocacy to implement mass dog vaccination, with the goal of eliminating rabies in both men and animals.