By Eldie S. Aguirre
Digos City Bureau Chief .
DIGOS City — The veterinary office here is set to declare this city as rabies-free before the year ends.
Dr. Fermin Verallo, Digos City veterinary officer said his department has surpassed the World Health Organization (WHO) standards on the implementation of rabies elimination performance which is pegged at 70 percent for three consecutive years.
“In the past two years we marked an average of more than 90 percent in terms of rabies vaccination accomplishments which is high enough from the WHO standards. This year, I am confidence we will break our record of 93 percent in the previous year before December,” Verallo said.
The percentage was based on the population of dogs and cats in the city. Verallo, however did not provide the specific number of canine and feline within the 26 villages comprising Digos City, Verallo said they acquired the statistics from Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) that are working alongside the veterinary personnel during their field operations.
“We have been a recipient of a national award for the highest performance in terms of rabies eradication campaign in the region. Other cities have 43 to 47 percent which is way below the WHO standards,” Verallo said.
In 2017, the city veterinary office was chosen, again, to represent the region to the national level, but the tilt was not materialized for still unknown circumstances.
“It does not matter how good your plan is; what it takes to achieve your objectives is how you implement the plan,” Verallo said.
He said coordinating with barangay officials is one of the factors to become successful. “Without the cooperation of local officials it would be very hard for us to implement the anti-rabies vaccination because we relied on the assistance of the BHWs which are under the command of our village officials,” Verallo said.
The city veterinary officer also said he always take time to be in the frontline of field operations.
“Most of the time I am with my personnel in the field to provide moral support and for immediate solutions of problems they might encounter. It could not be denied that there are arrogant individuals who will refuse to cooperate; with my presence it could be resolved in the soonest possible time, thereby saving time,” he said.