People’s health largely depends on the environment they live in. Rabies represents a significant public health problem in the Philippines, thus the Filipino government is advocating for dogs vaccination and Kito Onlus decided to support this prevention campaign.
According to the World Health Organization, the archipelago is ranked among the top 10 countries affected by rabies. This neglected disease is responsible for the death of 200-300 Filipinos annually, even if this number has been decreasing since 2011. Rabies is a contagious viral disease that can be passed to humans through the bite or scratch of an infected animal. Dogs are the main host and transmitter for rabies. This is why, the Department of Health, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and other national and international organizations, launched a nationwide campaign to vaccinate dogs. The National Rabies Prevention and Control Program aims to eliminate human rabies by the year 2020 and to declare the Philippines rabies-free by the same year.
Last month 158 dogs were vaccinated in San Fernando, La Unión, to eradicate rabies and prevent its transmission to humans. The vaccination program is one of the initiative supported by Kito Onlus in the Barangay Sagayad where Kito-Health is located. The vaccinations are indeed held in the area surrounding Kito’s Health Center. To encourage the vaccination the Barangay Health Workers working at Kito-Health are providing incentives to the people who bring dogs for the immunization, with free blood pressure tests and check up exams.
Supporting this program will save many lives and strengthen the relationship of the community of the Barangay Sagayad with their land.