LA TRINIDAD – Free massive anti-rabies vaccination is full blast this March in observance of the Rabies Awareness Month, and will extend until May.
Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan announced the free vaccination which pet owners are encouraged to take advantage of. Beyond the said period, charges for vaccines will already be collected
Tiongan said free vaccination already started first week of March in some areas. As in the past, local government units set their respective vaccination schedules and venue.
The OPVET targets 80 percent of the dog population or equivalent to 23,925 based on the increase in dog population with a total of 29, 906, according to Veterinarian II Annabelle Apse.
Last year the OPVET exceeded its target of 80% or a success rate of 86.15% equivalent to 23,492 canines including some feline population vaccinated.
Municipal Health Officer Dr. Edith Francisco said the La Trinidad Rural Health Unit, designated as one of the animal bite treatment centers (ABTCs), scheduled human bite vaccination during Mondays and Fridays only to maximize vaccine use and due to lack of manpower. Patients can avail of ABTC services nearest their area as they follow the same procedure, she added.
Provincial Rabies Coordinator Marlyn Colliao said the other four designated animal bite centers in the province are the Kapangan Medicare and Community Hospital, Dennis Molintas Memorial Hospital, Abatan Emergency Hospital, and the Benguet General Hospital.
The program is a partnership among stakeholders with the Department of Agriculture which provided free vaccines, Department of Health for syringes, Benguet State University to assist in pet vaccination, Dept. of Education in the information education campaign among children, Dept. of Interior and Local Government for LGU assistance and issuance of directive for the gathering of dog population
Governor Nestor Fongwan urged the various local government representatives to disseminate activities undertaken by the provincial government under the OPVet for the people to avail of. There are also local laws crafted in support of animal welfare.
With the theme, “End Rabies, Now Na,” the yearly observance of Rabies Awareness was issued by then President Joseph Estrada on March 13, 1999 through Executive Order No. 84.
The provincial kick-off activity took place last March 8 through a motorcade in this capital followed by a short program at the Provincial Capitol Open Gym./JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet