Linggo, Enero 8, 2017

January 2017 Update on Responsible Dog Ownership

       Rabies continues to be a public health concern in the Philippines. The World Health Organization ranks the country as one of the top 10 countries with rabies problems (WHO, 2013). According to the annual human rabies and animal bite victims report from the Department of Health, more than 150, 000 animal bites and over 250 human rabies cases have been reported per year. Dogs are responsible for more than 98% of the cases, reported from all regions of the country (Miranda).
      According to the Municipal Agricultural Office’s (MAO) livestock inventory, as of 2015, there was a total population of 2,237 dogs in the entire municipality of Liloy. Most of these dogs, especially those in barangays far from the Poblacion area, were allowed by their owners to freely roam around their barangays. One hundred and sixty one (161) of these dogs were vaccinated during January to May 2016. No dogs were registered.
       In a community assessment last July 2016 in Barangay Goaw, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte, 44 (28%)  households out of the 152 surveyed households have dogs as their pets. Moreover, out of a total of 70 dogs, only 2 (3%) dogs were vaccinated. No dogs were registered. Sixty-eight (97%) dogs were not leashed and left to roam the barangay. These unleashed dogs were not considered stray since they would still go back to their owner’s home for food and refuge. However, there were only two cases of dog bites in the Barangay, both were unreported to the RHU and Liloy Integrated District Hospital. In both cases, the bite victims opted to consult a traditional “tandok” healer.
      In response to the felt need of eradicating rabies from the country by year 2020, numerous information campaigns on anti-rabies and responsible pet ownership had been developed and intensified.   These anti-rabies educational campaigns were done alongside vaccination and registration of dogs, which are the primary reservoir of rabies in the country.  Dr. Mary Elizabeth Miranda, Alliance of Rabies Council Coordinator, emphasized that it is through control and prevention of rabies infection in the animal reservoir that long-term control and elimination of the rabies is possible. Hence, health education on rabies and responsible pet ownership, mass dog vaccination and registration are included as strategies to address this health problem in the community in order to increase the communitys awareness, and prevent human rabies infection by preventing the infection in the animal reservoir, primarily in dogs, which are the main cause of human rabies in the country.

Specific Objective #1
To increase the knowledge regarding responsible dog ownership and rabies prevention

Previous Strategies Done
ü  “Bantay ko, Alaga ko”, a health education through a 20-minute comprehensive film about responsible dog ownership and rabies was shown to the residents of the Barangay. Before and after the film, only the dog owners were given pre-test and post test, evaluating their knowledge on rabies and responsible pet ownership. Pamphlets written in Bisaya were also given to the residents after the posttest. One hundred and thirteen (113) representatives per household attended the film-showing event conducted last October 17, 2016. Among them, thirty-five (80%) out of the 44 dog owners attended. There was an increase in the average scores of the dog owners from pretest score of 3.97 to post test score of 7.4.

Specific Objective #2 & 3
To increase the percentage of registered dogs from 0% to 70%
Previous Strategies Done
ü  “Bantay Rabies sa Barangay,” a committee on the registry of dogs, and monitoring of dog bite cases in the barangay was formed last October 2016, consisting of the barangay officials in Goaw. The resolution supporting the formation of this committee is still made by the officials.
Current Strategy Done
ü  “Bantay ko, Alaga ko,” mass dog registration alongside vaccination, in coordination with the Department of Agriculture and Goaw’s Bantay Rabies sa Barangay, was conducted. Initially, the event was done in the Barangay’s covered court. However, house-to-house dog registration along with vaccination was conducted the next day in order to vaccinate the dogs, which were not brought to the covered court due to restraining difficulties.

·      As of November 2016, 64% of the dog owners participated in the mass dog registration; 71% of the dogs in Goaw were registered and 70% were vaccinated with the help of the Department of Agriculture and Goaw’s Bantay Rabies sa Barangay.  One dog was registered but not vaccinated since the dog is reported to be less than 3 months old. Dogs who are less than 3 months old are not included in the criteria for dog vaccination. The owner was encouraged to bring the dog once it reaches its 3rd month on the office of the Department of Agriculture for vaccination.
Future Plan
o   Mass dog registration and vaccination will be repeated this January 2017 to register the dogs whose owners were not available last November 2016.

As of October 2016, the film-showing on rabies and responsible pet ownership was successful as evidenced by an 80-percent attendance of the dog owners and an increase in their average scores from 3.97 to 7.4. The mass dog vaccination with registration was conducted this November 30, 2016 in coordination with the Department of Agriculture and Goaw’s Bantay Rabies sa Barangay. Through these activities, 70% of the dogs in Goaw were vaccinated and 71 % were registered. Overall, the number of dog owners practicing responsible dog ownership increased from 0 to 54% (24 out of 44 have basic knowledge on rabies and responsible dog ownership based on post test scores, have all of their dogs vaccinated and registered). To attain the group’s objective of increasing the number of dog owners practicing responsible dog ownership to 70%, the group plans to do house-to-house dog vaccination and registration again this January 2017.

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