Be responsible pet owners: DOH

MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) has reminded the public about responsible pet ownership with the launch of its anti-rabies campaign, in celebration of the Rabies Awareness Month.

“Prevention is key in eliminating the rabies disease, 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans are from dogs. Be a responsible pet owner and vaccinate your pets. This is the most cost-effective strategy to prevent rabies,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said in a statement on Tuesday.

Rabies is vaccine preventable viral disease, yet more than 59,000 people die from this disease annually, he said.

Duque said it is considered a public health problem as it is one of the most acutely fatal infection responsible for the deaths of at least 200 Filipinos each year.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 99 percent of all rabies transmissions are from dogs.

The DOH and the Department of Agriculture (DA) renewed their commitment to end the rabies disease through a campaign, dubbed as “Makiisa sa barangayan kontra rabies, maging responsableng pet owner”, to increase awareness about rabies prevention.

It focuses on responsible pet ownership and vaccine availability in established Animal Bite Treatment Centers to avoid unnecessary deaths due to rabies.

“We have made great strides in eliminating rabies particularly in the Visayas region where a number of provinces were declared rabies-free. Let us continue this positive trend and work together towards completely eradicating this deadly disease. It is my hope to declare Philippines a rabies-free country by 2030,” Duque said.

The DA, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, local government units, and the private sector will take part in the campaign. (PNA)