By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
To further raise rabies awareness and prevention especially among learners and teachers, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday announced that it will convene its partner agencies for the celebration of the 2019 World Rabies Day.
Officials of the DepEd, Department of Agriculture (DAR), Department of Health (DOH), and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will gather to further discuss the initiatives of their respective agencies when it comes to rabies education and prevention.
The World Rabies Day is celebrated every September 28. Anchored on the theme “Rabies: Educate to Eliminate,” the conference titled “World Rabies Day 2019 Celebration” is scheduled on September 30, Monday at the DepEd Bulwagan ng Karunungan, Pasig City.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, DAR Secretary William Dar, and DILG Secretary Eduardo Año are expected to share their views on the issue. The participants of the event are officials and representatives from DepEd, DOH, DAR, DILG, members of the National Rabies Prevention and Control Committee, awardees, teachers, and students.
Some of the highlights of the conference include the launching of rabies lesson plans, the awarding of best rabies local government implementers, and declaration of national and sub-national rabies free zone.
Aside from DepEd and its partner agencies, other collaborating partners are UBS Optimus Foundation, Four Paws International, Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), and DepEd’s Bureau of Learner Support Services-School Health Division, Bureau of Learning Delivery, Bureau of Learning Resources, and External Partnership Services.
Pursuant to Republic Act (R.A) No. 9482, the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007, DepEd said that it continues to respond to the “mandate to strengthen the national rabies education program in the K to 12 curriculum.”
In an earlier memorandum, Briones noted that rabies remains a “serious public health problem in the country and is considered as one of the most important zoonotic diseases in the world.”
Rabies is a “deadly diseases that can be transmitted to humans through bite of an infected animal, usually dogs and cats.” Based on available data, children below 15 years old are mostly the victims of dog bites.
Citing RA 9482, DepEd said that it is tasked to “strengthen rabies education program” through school health teaching or curriculum and assist in the dog mass immunization campaigns in the community. DepEd may also “integrate proper information and education on responsible pet ownership in relevant subjects at the elementary and high school levels.”
In 2017, rabies awareness was among the highlights of the “Brigada Eskwela” – the biggest maintenance clean up drive of DepEd. The “Brigada” became a “suitable occasion” to increase rabies awareness in the school community, especially among teacher, learners, and parents.
To raise awareness on rabies prevention and efficiently disseminate rabies education among learners and parents, DepEd said lectures on rabies will be “conducted during the annual activity” since the “Brigada” has been “an effective program of DepEd in ensuring the wellness and safety of students in the schools.”