(Photo courtesy of Pangasinan Provincial Health Office)
Burgos, Pangasinan – As part of its rabies-free initiative program, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Burgos continuous its campaign to rid the municipality of rabies by sustaining its dogs/cats’ vaccination activities, health education initiatives for the control and prevention of rabies, raising awareness and advocating for the elimination of the disease.
Recently, the Department of Health – Ilocos Region joined the “Road to a Rabies-Free Community Symposium and Workshop for Rabies Awareness Month Celebration”, conducted by the municipal health office of Burgos on March 27, 2023, as part of the celebration of Rabies Awareness Month 2023 which envisions the municipality becoming the first rabies-free zone in western Pangasinan by the end of 2023.
The town of Burgos is the only town in the province with no reported rabies cases for two consecutive years.
Regional Manager for Rabies Prevention and Control, Ana Fe Dumo Perez, said that a municipality can be declared rabies-free for having registered zero animal and human rabies for at least three consecutive years.
“A rabies-free area is one which implements and maintains a regular free dog vaccination program, promotes the use of a dog leash, intensifies community awareness on rabies prevention and control, has an established animal bite treatment center, has an impounding system for stray animals and regularly promotes responsible pet ownership,” she explained.
Aside from the workshop, the LGU also conducted free rabies vaccinations for cats and dogs.
Regional Director Paula Paz N. Sydiongco stated that anti-rabies vaccination for pets is the best way to prevent the spread of the disease. “Isa ito sa mga pinakamabisang paraan upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng rabies. Mas makabubuti rin na itali o huwag palabasin ng bakuran ang mga aso upang hindi makakagat at pakalat-kalat sa lansangan.”
“Tandaan na ang pag-aalaga ng aso ay isang malaking responsibilidad. Kasama dito ang pagbibigay sa kanila ng taunang bakuna, maayos na pagpapakain at malinis na tirahan upang hindi sila magkasakit.”
“We have to strictly manage our pets and community cooperation in order to reduce the risk of rabies transmission,” Sydiongco emphasized.
According to Pangasinan Provincial Health Office (PHO), there are seven rabies deaths recorded in 2022 which is 30% lower than the 10 cases recorded in 2021.
From January 1 to March 1 this year, there were no recorded rabies cases in the province.
Pangasinan has a total of 28 Animal Bite Treatment Centers were rabies vaccines are available and given free for victims of animal bite.