By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
In response to a recent Department of Health-Region VI (DOH-6) report revealing there were four reported rabies-related deaths in Negros Occidental this year, the Bacolod City Veterinary Office (CVO) yesterday appealed for residents to vaccinate their pets.
City Veterinarian, Dr. Ma. Agueda Dela Torre, said they currently have 1,000 rabies vaccination vials, which is enough to inoculate at least 10,000 cats and dogs.
According to the DOH-6 report, from January to June of this year, the department recorded a total of 51,967 dog bite cases in the Western Visayas. Aside from Negros Occidental, the province and city of Iloilo, as well as Antique and Capiz, each recorded one fatality.
Iloilo currently has the highest number of cases with 17,051, while Guimaras is still considered rabies-free.
In addition, DOH-6 Regional Rabies Program coordinator Ame Liz Mardoquio said they are informing all local government units in the region to step up their rabies vaccination programs by targeting a 70 percent inoculation rate for their respective dog populations.
The health official also advised dog bite victims to seek immediate medical attention./DGB, WDJ