LAOAG CITY, May 7 (PIA) –- The rising incidents of dog bites in Ilocos Norte could now be better addressed under a three-year program to eliminate rabies in the province.
The Communities Against Rabies Exposure (CARE) program is covered by a memorandum of agreement that was signed between Governor Imee Marcos and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), an international organization, during the First Provincial Rabies Summit held recently.
The project seeks to support the provincial rabies control program by strengthening the following initiatives: prevention of dog bites and human rabies; elimination of rabies in dogs; establishment of surveillance and diagnostic systems; and community advocacy and education on rabies prevention into elementary schools.
Marcos said rabies elimination is necessary if Ilocos Norte wants to maintain a visitor-friendly, healthy community, and environmentally-safe province.
Dr. Loida Valenzuela, provincial veterinary officer, said Ilocos Norte was found to be in the fifth position among provinces that recorded dog bite incidents.
She said the figures are being finalized but she noted that incidents rose by 11 percent in April this year compared to the same period last year.
Valenzuela said her office has already conducted massive dog vaccination and education among community leaders to bring down and eventually aim for a zero-rabies province.
The provincial government also strengthened its Provincial Rabies Control Council through an executive order that would govern rabies control and elimination program.
The council is headed by Marcos, assisted by chairpersons of the provincial board’s committees on health, agriculture and laws. Members are provincial department heads, presidents of the Mayors’ League, Federation of Liga ng mga Barangay, municipal health officers, municipal agriculture officers, federated barangay health workers, senior citizens, non-government groups and the Philippine Information Agency. (ANL/CCA-PIA 1, Ilocos Norte)