2 island villages in Southern Leyte eye rabies-free declaration

TACLOBAN CITY, Aug. 22 (PNA) — The Department of Health (DOH) here has endorsed two island villages of Hinunangan, Southern Leyte to be declared as rabies-free.

The Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) of DOH here disclosed that the San Pedro and San Pablo villages will be subjected to national validation but they have already passed the regional evaluation.

The DOH rabies control program headed by Boyd Roderick S. Cerro has been encouraging barangays or municipalities to work towards the declaration because it is easier to contain rabies in such areas.

The island town of Laoang in Northern Samar was also considered for the declaration but typhoon Glenda damaged its animal control facilities.

Areas that can apply for the declaration must have no human and canine rabies cases for at least two years. Also, they must have ordinances in place in response to rabies prevention and control and dog immunization, among others.

Currently, the island town of Limasawa in Southern Leyte and Biliran remain rabies-free.

Limasawa has been very strict with the implementation of their anti-rabies ordinance such that no stray dogs can be seen on the streets. Responsible pet ownership is also being observed in the island.

Vessels that transport dogs without permit are also being fined.

Meanwhile, Biliran hits the target of at least 75 percent immunization of their dog population aside from posting quarantine officers upon entrance to the province and ports. (PNA)