UPDATES ON THE NATIONAL RABIES PROGRAM STATUS
Friday, October 18, 2019, 8:45 am – 9:45 am
Daphne L. Jorca
Animal Health and Welfare Division, Bureau of Animal Industry, Department of Agriculture
Rabies is a zoonotic disease that still lingers in developing countries (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2015). In the Philippines, an average of 200-300 human deaths was recorded by the Department of Health (DOH) last 2018. Most of the animal cases recorded through various Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratories were dogs, comprising 98% of the total animals positive for rabies (Bureau of Animal Industry, 2018). Republic Act 9482 or the “Anti-Rabies Act of 2008” specifies the need for multi-agency and multi-sectoral coordination in the implementation of the program. For the past years, the government, led by the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Animal Industry, and other partners have been working for the elimination of rabies. Vaccination in dogs and achieving herd immunity has been found to be the most cost-effective way of eliminating rabies in both animals and humans. The cost of eliminating rabies in animals is 10% of the total cost for eliminating rabies in humans. With the global shortage of human rabies vaccine, the focus is now on the elimination of rabies in dogs. Our vision is to be a rabies-free Philippines, hence, the adoption of the Global STOPR strategy with a goal to eliminate canine-mediated human rabies by 2030. While every government sector and agency is contributing to the fulfillment of the goals of the program, everyone is being called to act.