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Mass rabies vaccination and awareness campaign intensified as provincial government eyes a rabies-free Cotabato province

Eyeing to make Cotabato Province a rabies-free community, the provincial government through the office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVET) intensified its rabies campaign through regular conduct of rabies vaccination, information drive through orientation and distribution of IEC (Information Education Campaign) materials, training of health workers and by making vaccines available 24/7 in the 4 dog bite centers in the province.

In just 4 days last May 8-12, 2017, a total of 1,400 dogs were vaccinated while mass rabies vaccination in the areas of San Vicente, Makilala;  Pisan in Kabacan and Bual Norte and Central Bulanan both in Midsayap  were conducted in the period April 24-28.

“Operation Askal”, a campaign against stray dogs, was also conducted last May 15-19 serving the different barangays of the municipality of Tulunan.

The provincial government has step up its effort against rabies in the early 2000 as an increase in rabies infection was recorded in the province.

Immediately after her assumption in 2010, Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza has ordered to speed up the fight against rabies making sure that vaccines are available all the time in bite centers where indigent patients can avail all 4 dosages for free.

Health workers from the towns of Alamada, Banisilan, Pigcawayan, Matalam, and Arakan Valley District Hospital were also trained and several other health workers continue to undergo training specializing on rabies infection to ensure that patients get the proper medical intervention.

These efforts of the present administration has not come to waste as data from the Integrated Provincial Health Office show rabies infection due to dog bites has relatively decreased by 50% in the last 2 years in the province and recorded deaths were lower in 2016.

With this, the Governor is optimistic that Cotabato Province will soon become a rabies-free community especially so that the OPVET which is headed by Provincial Veterinarian Rufino C. Sorupia, continues to conduct massive rabies vaccination, information drive and Operation Askal almost every week.  \\OZG/IDCD-PGO//

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