Editorial: Doing your part against rabies-A A +A
Monday, September 30, 2013
LAST Saturday was World Rabies Day, a celebration marked by the World Health Organization (WHO) to bring to everyone's awareness they key role in controlling the disease.
Rabies is preventable. Except that many a pet owner does not see the urgency and importance of bringing their pets once a year for an anti-rabies shot.
As reported by WHO, every year, around 60,000 people die of rabies around the world. Dying of rabies is among the most painful deaths, especially for the ones who are left behind. Agonizing is not enough a word to describe a person dying of rabies.
The WHO recommends breaking the cycle of rabies infection by vaccinating at least 70 percent of dogs. Most especially free roaming and street dogs.
Easy access to quality-assured dog vaccines should also be provided. In Davao City, the City Veterinarian Office gives anti-rabies shots to whoever bring s over their pets. This by itself is already a big help because anti-rabies shots cost a lot especially for the poor who keep pets.
But there is a need to drum up awareness and action. Imagine if all pet owners bring over their pets for vaccination; then this will be a safer place for our children. It is of note that children are most often the ones bitten by dogs. First, because they have the tendency to run from any animal that shows aggression. Small as they are, they are unlikely to outrun a dog. Second, they are often playing on the streets and playgrounds.
Many know the number of injections needed as prophylaxis for a person who has already been bitten. It also costs a lot more than just one anti-rabies injection on a pet once a year.
Indeed, this is one awareness and concern that has to be imbibed by all to make our homes and communities safer for all of us and to ensure that our pets live a long healthy life as well. Remember that once rabies infection manifests in a dog that has bitten someone, that dog will be just as infected and die a similarly agonizing death.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 30, 2013.