Two island-barangays eye rabies-free tag

TWO ISLAND-barangays in the municipality of Concepcion in northern Iloilo seek to be declared as “rabies-free” zones, according to the Regional Technical Working Group (RTWG) on Rabies Prevention and Control in Western Visayas.

Caroline Tumabotabo, Department of Health (DOH)-6 Rabies Prevention and Control Program Coordinator, said that the island-barangays of Malangabang and Salvacion in Concepcion, Iloilo are aiming to be declared as rabies-free zones.

“We have set the evaluation of these barangays this month,” she said.

DOH-6 said that for an area to be declared rabies-free, there should be no case of animal rabies and human rabies for two consecutive years.

Likewise, the DOH requires that there should be a local ordinance on the prevention and control of rabies and a localized comprehensive rabies prevention, control and elimination program.

Meanwhile, Dr. Pacifico Lumawag, DA-6 Regional Rabies Coordinator, said there are already three areas in Western Visayas which were declared rabies-free.

In Iloilo, Pan de Azucar Island which is also in Concepcion was declared rabies-free in 2016. The island is composed of three barangays namely Macatunao, Talo-toan and Tambaliza.

The island province of Guimaras and Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan were also declared rabies-free in 2013.

March has been declared Rabies Awareness Month pursuant to Republic Act 9482 which was signed into law on May 25, 2007.

It aims to strengthen public awareness on the prevention, control, and management of rabies. (PIA-Iloilo)

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