MANILA -- The Department of Education (DepEd) is collaborating with the Department of Health (DOH) in integrating rabies education in the national curriculum to achieve a zero-rabies Philippines by 2020.
"We in DepEd are very happy that we have this integration of rabies education in our curriculum. We are lucky to have the DOH, the Department of Agriculture and other non-governmental organizations, which are helping us in producing the learning resources that we can use in implementing the integration of rabies education in our curriculum," said Ronnie Baldos, senior education specialist of DepEd, during a media briefing for the 2017 National Rabies Summit held at the Century Park Hotel in Manila.
Baldos said the materials that will be incorporated in the curriculum, once in place, can help them a lot in the advocacy for zero rabies in the country.
He said they are meeting with partner government agencies and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC).
The inclusion of rabies education in the national curriculum is provided for under Republic Act No. 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007, which tasks the departments of health, agriculture, interior and local government, and education and other stakeholders in controlling rabies.
Dr. Danellie Joy Medina of GARC said children can be taught about rabies in various school subjects, such as in Values Education, Filipino and English.
"Kahit three to five years pa lang ang bata ay pwede nang maturuan (Children as young as three to five years old can already be taught) about rabies, such as how they should behave para di sila makagat ng aso (so they don’t get bitten by dogs)," she said.
Medina also called on educators to teach children to report animal bites to their parents immediately to prevent the disease from progressing, adding that parents should likewise be taught how to respond to bite incidences.
She said that in their advocacy activities in communities, they urge parents not to react in anger when their children report that they were bitten by dogs.
The DOH has been intensifying its programs and services for the prevention and control of rabies, a fatal disease transmitted to humans through animal bites or scratches, usually by dogs. It could be prevented by an anti-rabies vaccine, but once infection sets in, death is inevitable.
The department’s National Rabies Prevention and Control Program recorded 1,362,998 animal bites across the country last year, 209 of which resulted in death.
The National Rabies Summit gathered stakeholders to collaborate and share strategies to attain a rabies-free country by 2020, and highlighted the best practices of municipalities declared as rabies-free.
It coincided with World Rabies Day, which is celebrated every September 28. (PNA)