WHO Philippines joins the world rabies day celebration
WHO Philippines joins the celebration of World Rabies Day on 28 September 2012 in Makati City.
The celebration was organized by the National Rabies and Control Committee of the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Animal Industry, Department of Health, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, private sector and non-government organizations.
The theme of the celebration was “Working Together for a Rabies-free Philippines, Register and Vaccinate your dog”. This initiative highlights the importance of collaborative efforts and dog vaccination, as a key strategy for a Rabies free country.
Dr Soe Nyunt-u, Representative of the Philippines, World Health Organization was represented by Dr Maria Nerissa Dominguez, National Program Officer, ESR-WHO Philippines during the celebration. It highlighted the awarding of the Rabies Free Zones in the Provinces of Biliran, Camiquin and Marinduque and the Municipality of Limasawa in Southern Leyte.
This activity is expected to generate support from the various LGUs, with more rabies free provinces and islands to be declared as rabies free zones
Requirements for an area to be declared rabies free zone
The requirements for an area to be declared rabies free zone are:
- local ordinance on the prevention and control of rabies;
- localized comprehensive rabies prevention/control and elimination program;
- rabies control measures in place, with quantifiable results; and
- human rabies control measures in place, with quantifiable results.
The rabies control measures include:
- No confirmed case of indigenously acquired rabies by a type 1 lysavirus, in any animal species including bats at anytime during the previous two (2) years;
- existing comprehensive rabies vaccination program in place for two (2) years, as per provisions of the Anti Rabies Act of 2007;
- adequate laboratory-based surveillance system in full operation in rabies-free and provisionally rabies-free areas;
- enforcement of control measures to eliminate, destroy and dispose stray dogs as per existing ordinance;
- all components of animal prevention and control, together with the animal birth control must be in place;
- presence of effective rabies control committee at the province, city, municipality and barangay levels;
- effective dog movement control measures, such as dogs and cats for inter-island transport must have a valid vaccination certificate and can only be transported at least two (2) weeks after vaccination or valid rabies vaccination within last 12 months certified by a licensed veterinarian; and
- responsible pet ownership information and educational campaigns should be pursued in the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays, using print, broadcast and other forms of media, with billboards and streamers placed in strategic areas.
On the other hand, there should be no confirmed case of indigenously acquired infection by a lyssavirus by any person at anytime during the previous two (2) years through monthly zero-case reporting from the Municipal Health Office. There should be an adequate and functional surveillance system on rabies in accordance with the Philippines Integrated Disease Surveillance and Report System in the area.
Post exposure treatment must be readily accessible to all animal bite victims. A mechanism is already established to ensure availability of human anti-rabies vaccine and rabies immunoglobulin.
The presence of adequate health education, promotion and advocacy on responsible pet ownership, proper animal bite wound care and adherence to treatment protocol, including integration of rabies prevention and control in the curriculum of Elementary School and the annual celebration of the Rabies Month Awareness Month (source:Anti Rabies Act (RA 9482) and IRR.. June 2008).