TAGBILARAN CITY, May 30 (PIA)--Bohol may be the first local government unit awarded for an innovative anti-rabies program to merit the Gawad Galing Pook, but what keeps it from being declared rabies-free?
This fairly sums up the question which members of the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Elimination (BRPE) Council ask and why the program has so far somewhat stagnated.
According to the program executive officer Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, part of it is that there are issues that need to be resolved, and can only be done with the widest participation of Boholanos.
At the recent meeting of the BRPEC at the Casa Rey Francis Friday, May 27, implementers believe that the program's social mobilization alone has encountered issues that should be resolved immediately.
Bohol Anti-Rabies program now anchors with communities and with the recent elections, the changing of local officials and their trusted program implementers d3ent largely on the over-all campaign.
In the recent elections, Bohol will have to see new council members as some of the sitting members have been replaced by newly elected officials who also need to be reoriented of the anti-rabies program, noted Dr. Lapiz.
And as a council that has been scouring for more effective program implementation, since 2008, the Council has seen a need for additional and expanded BRPEC membership to include NGO’s including animal welfare advocates, representative from the Bohol Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association (BHRRA) as well as the health sector's animal bite treatment center operators.
Moreover, the council also sees the need to set regular schedule for the conduct of council meetings to get regular updates and equip members of the recent developments that could be crucial in lobbying or harnessing ongoing advocacies, the secretariat from the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian suggested.
The council also noted a much needed review of the provincial rabies ordinance especially on dog population control, especially now with stricter elimination policies and more animal welfare advocates seeing to it that animals get humane treatment.
Also, council members agree that a revision of the Program Operation Manual is in order after the manual that the program implementers are using needs to be more responsive to the times.
To get the anti-rabies program instilled in the young, Bohol has successfully incorporated the anti-rabies measures in the school curriculum, but after the first pilot testing, nobody could really tell what has happened to the first batch of teachers demonstrating the lessons in the elementary.
Here council members also agree that a reproduction of the barangay handbook guide on the implementation of the program is due.
This is so that the upcoming barangay officials in October will have a fresh start as the council again picks on the task of orienting them of the program, says Dr. Lapiz.
Other than social mobilization, BRPEP also includes Information Education Communication, massive dog and Human vaccination, dog population control and management, and surveillance and monitoring. (rac/PIA7/Bohol)