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Rabies Awareness in the Cordillera heightened as the Department of Agriculture – Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) and other women in health joined the Kapihan in Baguio, organized by the Department of Health (DOH) – CAR, on March 13, 2018 at the DOH-CAR’s Secretary’s Cottage.
A total of 24 positive rabies cases were recorded in 2017, as reported by Dr. Cecilia Capuyan, Veterinarian II of DA-CAR’s Regulatory Division. Highest number recorded was in Apayao with 10, followed by Abra with six, three each for Benguet and Kalinga, and one respectively for Ifugao and Baguio City. As of March this year, another eight rabies cases were noted.
Dogs are the main carriers of rabies virus followed by cats, according to Dr. Capuyan.
“Rabies is 100% fatal but also 100% preventable through vaccinations. That’s why it is vital as responsible pet owners that we should have our pets vaccinated annually”, she said.
Dr. Capuyan added that the government, through the different line agencies, is advocating for a rabies free Philippines by 2020. At present, there is no rabies free region in the country except for the smaller islands in the archipelago. So intense information campaigns are being done to increase awareness about rabies and mass vaccinations are held throughout the year.
In addition, Executive Order no. 84 was passed and declared March as Rabies Awareness Month. The theme this year is “Barangay Kaagapay, Alis Rabies Tagumpay.” Free rabies shots can be availed for the whole duration at DA-CAR and in the respective Provincial or City Veterinarian Offices in the region.
DOH on the other hand is in full support of the advocacy through their own info campaigns and medical aid. Geeny Austria, Nurse V of DOH-CAR, stated that agency certifies of Animal Bite Treatment Centers (ABTC) to make sure of standards compliance and quality of service. In addition, post-exposure rabies vaccines for people bitten are free of charge in health offices. She also reminded everyone to go to the nearest ABTC if bitten.
“The most basic thing to do is to wash the wound with soap and running water. It is not recommended to use unconventional methods such as rubbing of garlic, sucking the venom, and most especially subscribing to quack doctors. Visit the nearest ABTC and have the bite assessed by medical practitioners for further treatment,” stressed Austria.
On the animal side, Dr. Capuyan advised that any biting animal be leashed or confined for 14 days for observation and emphasized that it should not be killed. However, if it dies, a sample for rabies testing must be sent to the Regional Animal Diseases Diagnostic Laboratories (RADDL) at the Baguio Animal Breeding and Research Center (BABRC) Compound, Dontogan, Baguio City. Laboratory services are free until 2020. But in the case that the animal lives after the observation period, the animal must be vaccinated immediately. //Ayra Galanza
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A 1.822M worth of farm machineries were distributed to different farmer associations in Conner, Apayao last March 12, 2018 by the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR).
The machineries came from the DA’s special project, Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) as support to the livelihood of farmer beneficiaries in its coverage areas.
The farm machineries that were given to farmers include 1 unit four-wheel drive tractor, 1 unit multi-purpose thresher, and 1 unit hand tractor. These were awarded to the Nabuagan Region Livelihood and Farmers Association.
Another one unit multi-purpose corn sheller, and 1 unit hand tractor was awarded to Calaoan Livelihood and Farmers Association.
The turn-over ceremony was attended by DA-CAR Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo, MA.Ed; Hon. Leanardo D. Dangoy, Municipal Mayor of Conner, Apayao; Mr. Nicholas Abawag, Municipal Administrator, Ms. Corazon P. Gasmeña, Municipal Agriculturist, and the officers and farmer representatives of the abovementioned farmer associations.
“Distribution of farm machineries is a continuing program of the DA. The farmers are major partners of the agency in ensuring food security. We are having this activity as part of our continuing support to the efforts of farmers in this venture”, said director Edillo.
Aside from the machineries, director Edillo also briefed the farmers on the different programs of the DA such as the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA), seed multiplication, multiplier farm, Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT; and among others.
He encouraged the farmers to continue farming and make Conner, Apayao food self-sufficient through mechanization.
Also present during the activity were Martina Dangoy, Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Council Chairperson; Rito Siriano and Artemio Gonayon, Sanggunian Bayan Members; Dolores Ortega, HVCDP Coordinator of Apayao; Barangay Captains; farmers; LGUs; and among others.//Herman Danis