A Huge Step in Eradicating Rabies

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Chairperson Myrna Caballa-Beramo
Veterinary Concerns Committee

As a background, RC Manila Crown chartered club last August 4, 2020  spearheaded the dog and cat anti-rabies vaccination campaign headed by CP/TP  Fedelino Malbas Jr. The club collaborated with other Manila clubs, namely, the Rotary  Clubs of Ermita, Ramon Magsaysay, Binondo Prime, Espiritu Santo, Manila South, Fort  Santiago and Manila Magic. TP Malbas who is connected with the Research Institute for  Tropical Medicine (RITM) of the Department of Health (DOH) and other partner clubs  successfully vaccinated six hundred (600) dogs and cats last year in the following areas:  Ermita, Sta. Ana, Sta. Cruz, Malate, Sampaloc, Manila and Tanay, Rizal. Hence, RC Manila  Crown identified it as its flagship project vowing to assists in eradicating  rabies in the community.

This year, the Veterinary Concerns Committee with RC Manila Crown as the lead host club had undergone a massive effort on Rabies Awareness and Vaccination project  bringing along the Rotary Clubs of District-3810 as co-hosts.

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The first part of the Rabies Awareness Webinar last August 28 via Zoom had an  interesting discussion on the severity of rabies to humans with Dr. Arthur Dessi Roman,  a Medical Specialist III of RITM. It was a well-attended webinar. He was gracious to identify the severity of dog and cat  bites in the administration of the right prophylaxis, when and how does the rabies cause  death to its victims.

The webinar last September 25 presented three speakers on  Rabies Awareness cementing the need to eradicate rabies in the country. The first topic  was an in-depth information on anti-rabies research and development through  Laboratory Diagnosis of Rabies expounded by Dr. Catalino Demetria, a veterinarian of  RITM Veterinary Research Department, Special Pathogens Laboratory (VRD-SPL).  The second speaker was Dr. Fedelino F. Malbas, Head of VRD who tackled The Anti-Rabies Act  of 2007 or Republic Act 9482 which has salient points on the role of  government and non- organizations to join hands in the prevention and control of rabies  in the country through close coordination of multiple agencies.  Likewise, the mandatory registration and vaccination of dogs and cats are major part in  the Rabies Act as well as the nitty gritty portion of the act on the penalties shouldering the  medical expenses of the victim’s injury. The last speaker, Dr. Maricelle Licuanan Resurreccion, Chairperson of Philippine Pet Birth Control Foundation, Inc. (PPBCFI) and  a member of RC Manila Bay, spoke about Advocating Rabies Eradication through  population control such as neutering and spaying as one way of decreasing the number  of dogs and cats roaming around as stray animals. Overall, the webinar was informative and enlightening in educating the Rotarians and its guest on rabies programs  and activities.

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On the Dogs and Cats Anti-Rabies Vaccination, the first vaccination was rolled out in  Villamor Air Base Community through the assistance of D3810 Rotary Pasay Clubs  headed by LCPs of RC Pasay Business District, Carissa Daño and RC Pasay Cyber City,  Peaches Passion. A total of 500 dogs and cats were immunized last  October 16.

In Cavite Area, RC Imus East through the teamwork of LCP Merla Ramirez, IPP Myrna  Dacanay, PE Mark Villanueva, PP Rodrigo Mapoy and Secretary Sally Panlilio, RC Cavite  East’s LCP Chito Bognot, RC Manila Crown’s LCP Girlie Espiritu with Vet Concerns  Committee Chairman PP Myrna Caballa-Beramo and PR Vhinz Roman, RC Rosario’s LCP  Cynthia Mercado with SDG Sonny Mercado, RC Magdiwang’s LCP Lanie Potante, and  RC Malate Prime’s LCP Rommel Roxas, more than 1,400  dogs and cats were vaccinated in three sites. It was an overwhelming mass  immunization held last October 30 with the assistance of Imus Cavite Cluster six  Barangay Captains, Personnel and Health Workers in Imus, Cavite.

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Manila Area vaccination happened last November 6 in Sta Cruz where 200 dogs and cats were immunized through the coordination of LCP Michael Uy, PP  Ersie Concepcion and IPP Evie Uy of RC Espiritu Santo Tayuman. In Sampaloc area, a  total also of 200 dogs and cats were vaccinated through the effort of LCP  Jason Pural with SDG Jouie Gabat of RC Ramon Magsaysay, and PP Jack Cu of RC Pasay  Cybercity, RC Manila Bay LCP Joel Ferrer as well as other D3810 Manila Rotary Clubs.

Vaccination in Occidental Mindoro is still waiting for the IATF guidelines to confirm the  schedule, but definitely it will push through with the perseverance and teamwork of D3810  Occidental Mindoro Clubs. This is something we will look forward to in completing the  Veterinary Concerns Committee of the District plans for RY 2021-2022.

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Overall, the mentioned committee increased the awareness of animal and human rabies  focusing on facts and dissipate any myths or misconceptions about rabies in our  community. In celebration of the World Rabies Day last September 28, the District  Committee on Veterinary Concerns affirmed that this be part of the seven (7) Areas of  Focus which is Disease Prevention and Treatment in Rotary, our way of sharing and  making progress towards eliminating rabies death by 2030.