In response to a committee report that declared Iloilo City under a “rabies outbreak/emergency,” a resolution recently passed the Iloilo City Sangguniang Panlungsod calling for the city’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to fast-track rabies vaccination purchasing.
“There is already a rabies outbreak/emergency,” affirmed City Councilor Candice Tupas, who chairs the Committee on Health, Sanitation, and Hospital Services. “The number of cases shot up from zero, [over] the past 10 years; to 10 cases in [the] span of [a] few months.”
She said, considering the time of year, the purchase needs to be fast-tracked.
“We are already [in] the fourth quarter,” the city councilor stated.
Since February, the Animal Bite Treatment Center, located at the Sto. Rosario Health Center, has reported a shortage of vaccines, wherein patients were only administered one dose instead of the customary four.
According to the committee report, the center has encountered delays with purchasing through the BAC.
Tupas offered three possible alternatives, including a P500,000 budget allocation, which would meet six percent of demand for the vaccine; an animal bite package from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, which totals around P1 million for 2018; or a supply from the Department of Health, however, allocations are often inconsistent.
She also mentioned her colleague, City Councilor Joshua Alim, who proposed increasing the City Health Office rabies program budget.
Last June, the Negros Occidental Provincial Veterinary Office placed the Negros Occidental fifth congressional district under a rabies “high alert” after nine people reportedly ate a dog infected with rabies in Barangay Cabadiangan, Himamaylan City.
Rabies is a viral infection that affects the nervous system with symptoms including fever with pain; and an unusual tingling, pricking, or burning sensation at the wound site./WDJ