rabid-dogNAVAL, Biliran, January 27 (PIA) – “Tokhang”, a famous terminology at present and even used now as a street jargon in our country, has now been adopted in the implementation of rabies prevention and control program on dogs in the province of Billiran.

The idea of using the Tokhang on dogs or “Tokhang sa Iro” was coined by Dr. Edgar T. Veloso, provincial health officer in Biliran province, in a meeting with the members of the Biliran provincial rabies prevention and control committee (PRPCC) on December 21, 2016 over the issue on the sustainability of the status of the province as rabies-free zone.

Dr. Suzette B. Apura, Biliran provincial veterinarian bared to the members of the Biliran PRPCC during the meeting the reported cases of canine rabies in the province particulary in Barangay Madao in Kawayan town and in Barangay Poblacion in Almeria town where five persons were bitten by a rabid dog.

Apura said that Biliran is no longer a rabies-free province, however, no official declaration yet was issued by concerned national government agencies which will officially declare the province as not rabies-free anymore.

Addressing the problem

Several plans of action, and relevant suggestions were discussed which ultimately led in coming up with four activities to address the reported cases of canine rabies particularly dog bites, one of which is Tokhang sa Iro.

Among the plans of action was the mass dog vaccination within the three- kilometer radius of the area where rabies cases occurred, and to meet with the local officials of the concerned barangays and towns to discuss their role in the dissemination of information on how to become a responsible dog owner.

For her part, Dr. Norietta F.Ursua, regional rabies program coordinator of the regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) suggested to trace the origin of the rabid dog, submit dog head sample of at least .02 percent of the total dog population per year, dog vaccination coverage by barangay should be 70 percent for at least two years and more vaccinations will be conducted the next year, and dogs aged two months old will be subjected to vaccination also with booster vaccine after two months.

Other suggestions came from Dr. Archie Lluz from DA 8 to include the surveillance of wild cats if there are any in the area, to consider the potency of the vaccines used, the handling of the vaccines, and vaccinated dogs should be examined for Titer.

Aside from Tokhang sa Iro, the members of the Biliran PRPCC agreed to conduct a reorientation of RA 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act , utilization of the barangay officials and tanods as vaccinators, and the conduct of spay, neuter and castration in dogs.

Tokhang sa Iro

Tokhang sa Iro as suggested initially by Dr. Veloso is purposely implemented to meet the 70 percent dog vaccination coverage in the province of Biliran.

In a recent meeting of the Billiran PRPCC this year, the idea of using the Tokhang sa Iro or Toktok Hangyo sa Iro (knock and appeal to dog owners) caught the attention of Andres Valeriano, the municipal agricultural officer of Kawayan town.

Valeriano https://www.viagrasansordonnancefr.com/viagra-generique/ said that the he finds the Tokhang sa Iro an effective tool or strategy to address the current situation on rabies in the province which he plans to implement in his town especially that the reported case of rabies occured in one of the barangays of his town.

“If Tokhang is effective in the fight against illegal drugs it may be an effective tool or strategy to use in the fight against rabies,” Valeriano said in an interview right after the Biliran PRPCC meeting.

He said he will first inform the local elected municipal officials including the concerned department heads and barangay officials in Kawayan town on the rationale behind Tokhang sa Iro.

“I will include them in the team that will conduct the Tokhang sa Iro in households of every barangay with dogs,” he emphasized.

The Kawayan town agricultural officer explained further that the Tokhang sa Iro that will be implemented in his town in March this year will be in the form of a household survey where a team composed of the representatives of the agriculture, health, interior and local government departments of LGU-Kawayan and the barangay official will visit each household with dog and ask some questions relative to responsible dog ownership as provided in RA 9482.

“I believe Tokhang sa Iro will increase the level of awareness of dog owner about his responsibilities,” Valeriano said, adding it will also help in the effective and efficient implementation of prevention and control program of rabies in the community. # (FJ/rvictoria/PIA 8 Biliran)