By Ameena Tara D. Manio
According to the Provincial Government of Cagayan (PGC) Animal Bite Center, there was an increase of 17.59% in animal bite cases for the period of January to July 2013 compared to last year’s record on the same period.
Geraldine S. Abad, Animal Bite Center’s Rabies Coordinator said that there were 6,369 animal bite cases for January to July 2013 compared to 5,416 cases recorded on the same period last year. However, the center recorded a decrease of death cases from the five (5) cases in 2012 to only two (2) death cases as of July 2013. The latest death cases were from San Roque, Peñablanca and San Francisco, Baggao. Both cases were male and above 50 years old.
According to the Provincial Health Office, animal bites from warm-blooded animals are a constant threat to our townspeople. Various government and health sectors have existing programs to further increase the public’s awareness on staying vigilant of their own pets, as well as to stray animals that have not been impounded and treated by our rabies centers. The Provincial Veterinary Office had been very aggressive in pushing for responsible pet ownership among Cagayanos.
Meanwhile, in preparation for the September 28 World Rabies Day, the Animal Bite Center, Provincial Health Office, Provincial Veterinary Office, and Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) are constantly reminding all pet owners to be responsible enough to register their dogs and cats and have their pets vaccinated in support for Rabies-free Philippines, and be aware of the Republic Act 9482 (Anti-Rabies act of 2007).
Rabies centers are situated in Cagayan Valley Medical Center and PGC Animal Bite Center. It caters not only patients from Cagayan but also those from nearby provinces in the region.
The PGC Animal Bite Center conducts weekly Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaigns. The center is open for consultations and vaccinations from Mondays to Fridays (except holidays), 8:00 am-5:00pm.