National Rabies Prevention and Control Program
Rabies is a human infection that occurs after a transdermal bite or scratch by an infected animal, like dogs and cats. It can be transmitted when infectious material, usually saliva, comes into direct contact with a victim’s fresh skin lesions. Rabies may also occur, though in very rare cases, through inhalation of virus-containing spray or through organ transplants.
Rabies is considered to be a neglected disease, which is 100% fatal though 100% preventable. It is not among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the country but it is regarded as a significant public health problem because (1) it is one of the most acutely fatal infection and (2) it is responsible for the death of 200-300 Filipinos annually.
Vision: To Declare Philippines Rabies-Free by year 2020
Goal: To eliminate human rabies by the year 2020
To attain its goal, the program employs the following strategies:
1. Provision of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to all Animal Bite Treatment Centers (ABTCs)
2. Provision of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to high risk individuals and school children in high incidence zones
3. Health Education
Public awareness will be strengthened through the Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaign. The rabies program shall be integrated into the elementary curriculum and the Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) shall be promoted. In coordination with the Department of Agriculture, the DOH shall intensify the promotion of dog vaccination, dog population control, as well as the control of stray animals.
In accordance with RA 9482 or “The Rabies Act of 2007”, rabies control ordinances shall be strictly implemented. In the same manner, the public shall be informed on the proper management of animal bites and/or rabies exposures.
The rabies awareness and advocacy campaign is a year-round activity highlighted on two occasions – March as the Rabies Awareness Month and September 28 as the World Rabies Day.
5. Training/Capability Building
Medical doctors and Registered Nurses are to be trained on the guidelines on managing a victim.
6. Establishment of ABTCs by Inter-Local Health Zone
7. DOH-DA joint evaluation and declaration of Rabies-free islands
The DOH, together with the partner organizations/agencies, has already developed the guidelines for managing rabies exposures. With the implementation of the program strategies, five islands were already declared to be rabies-free.
In 2010, 257 rabies cases and 266,200 animal bites or rabies exposures were reported. A total of 365 ABTCs were established and strategically located all over the country. Post Exposure Prophylaxis against rabies was provided in all the 365 ABTCs.
The following organizations/agencies take part in attaining the goal of the National Rabies Prevention and Control Program:
- Department of Agriculture (DA)
- Department of Education (DepEd)
- Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Animal Welfare Coalition (AWC)
- BMGF Foundation
- WHO/BMGF Rabies Elimination Project
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
- Medical Research Council (MRC)
Dr. Raffy A. Deray
Department of Health-National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (DOH-NCDPC)
Contact Number: 751-78-00 or 651-78-00 local 2352