By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
THE Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Western Visayas has expressed its alarm over the rising human rabies death in the region.
The Epidemiology Bureau of the health department has confirmed that Western Visayas now ranks second in terms of human rabies deaths in the whole country, according to Ame Liz G. Mardoquio, program coordinator of the Rabies Prevention and Control Program.
From January to May 2019, the region already recorded 17 deaths, Mardoquio added.
“Negros Occidental recorded eight death cases, the highest in the region followed by Iloilo and Aklan with three cases, Capiz (2) and Iloilo City with one death,” she reported.
Rabies Prevention and Control Program, Medical Coordinator, Dr. Marie Jocelyn Te said that all 17 fatalities were unimmunized.
The number of deaths was also significantly higher to the 17 recorded deaths from January to December 31 last year, according to Mardoquio.
Following the increasing number of rabies deaths, Mardoquio said the Rabies Technical Working Group conducted a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the measures that needs to be done to address the number.
“Nagpatawag kami meeting sa TWG para ma-discuss kon ano ang mga measures nga pwede ta ma-incorporate sa aton Rabies Prevention and Control Program. As you all know, may ara ta global shortage sa human and canine vaccines,” she lamented.
Mardoquio emphasized that the region needs 37,000 vials of vaccine per quarter.
“Just this May, we received around 24, 000 vials halin sa aton central office. We also have allotted P8.1 million worth of vaccine nga gin-procure in the last quarter sa aton mga animal bite treatment centers (ABTC) in the region,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Te appealed to the public to not be complacent and seek early consultation especially when they have been bitten, scratched by either cats or dogs on the high risk areas such as above the head, chest, fingers, and toes.
“Kinahanglan ipabalo gid ang mga pumuluyo nga indi gid sila mangin complacent kon makagat, makaros, madilap sang ido and kuring, mapakonsulta gid sila the soonest possible time kay ang scratch sang kuring wala gid kasiguraduhan nga wala rabies,” she said.
From January to April this year, the region has recorded 22,206 animal bite cases, based on the data from DOH-CHD.
In 2018, the region reported 93,520 animal bite cases.