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    Posted April 2, 2014 by
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    Phl to declare Sept. 28 Anti-Rabies Day

    TWO Philippine lawmakers on Wednesday said they want September 28 of every year to be declared as the National Anti-Rabies Day in the country, in consonance with the celebration of World Rabies Day.
    In filing House Bill 4050, Reps. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City and Maximo B. Rodriguez, Jr. of ABAMIN) said they want to raise awareness and mobilize resources in support of human rabies prevention and animal rabies control.
    "Rabies remains a significant public health concern in the Philippines where only 25 percent of dogs are vaccinated against the viral infection and only 17 rabies diagnostic laboratories are currently in operation," the lawmakers said.
    Citing a report of the World Health Organization (WHO), they said more than 55,000 people die of rabies every year, with dog bites as the cause of 99 percent of rabies deaths.
    WHO also reported that every year, more than 15 million people worldwide receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), preventing an estimated 327,000 rabies deaths annually.
    Post-exposure prevention consists of local treatment of the wound, administration of rabies immunoglobulin, and immediate vaccination with anti-rabies vaccine.
    "Prompt and effective treatment after exposure to a rabies-prone animal bite can prevent the onset of symptoms and death," they said.
    The lawmakers quoted Dr. Nancy Nazaire-Bermal, head of clinical research and development of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, who said "without timely treatment, rabies infection is 100 percent fatal."
    "Rabies is the best example of an illness in which prevention is better than cure, as it is a vaccine-preventable disease," Bermal said.

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