AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Health (DOH) in Northern Mindanao Region said there is no shortage of the anti-rabies vaccine for humans in the region, pointing out they have enough allocation of the vaccine to every animal bites center across the region.
Dr. Ellenietta Gamolo, DOH-Northern Mindanao medial officer, however, said that Cagayan de Oro City's health office might be experiencing the shortage because of the high incidence of dog bites.
READ: Cagayan de Oro running out of anti-rabies vaccines (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1505041/Cagayan-De-Oro/Local-News/Cagayan-de-Oro-running-out-of-anti-rabies-vaccines)
Gamolo also clarified that local health centers should have the capacity to buy their own supply of rabies vaccine, adding that what the DOH can only provide is an augmentation supply for the bites centers.
"We also have an allocation for Cagayan de Oro but they already used all of it. We also cannot give all our supplies to Cagayan de Oro alone, because there are many bites centers across the region and we also provide for them," she said.
Gamolo said local health offices, through their local government units, have the power to purchase vaccines on their own to local suppliers.
She clarified that local government units don’t have to wait for a DOH memorandum order especially if the shortage is alarming.
"The local government units should have their own means of buying their own supply, the DOH will only help them. If they have bites center, it should follow that the local government units must set aside an amount or a budget to buy vaccines," she said.
"It is actually not surprising if a city like Cagayan de Oro experiences lack of supply because its health office is not only serving the city but other patients from nearby provinces or municipalities come here just to get treatment," Gamolo added.
The City Health Office (CHO) said the trend of dog bites cases in Cagayan de Oro is increasing.
In 2015, the CHO recorded a total of 10,000 dog bites, 2016 with 11,000 bites cases, year 2017 with 12,800 cases, and for the first quarter of this year, 3,800 cases of dog bites are recorded so far.