CARE Project launched in Ilocos Norte, Philippines

The provincial government of Ilocos Norte, in partnership with GARC, organized the 1st Provincial Rabies Summit, with the theme “Communities working together for a Rabies-free Ilocos Norte”. This was held on April 27, 2012 at the Plaza del Norte Hotel and Convention Center, Laoag City. The event was well-attended by more than two hundred stakeholders including municipal mayors, local legislators, agricultural officers, health officers, barangay captains and health workers.

During the event, the Communities Against Rabies Exposure (CARE) Project was launched. Provincial Governor Hon. Imee Marcos and GARC Asia Coordinator Dr. Mary Elizabeth Miranda led the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement, which signifies the three-year partnership between the provincial government and GARC to eliminate rabies in the province.

“We give thanks to the Global Alliance for this unique opportunity to detrude the situation in the province and hopefully… we will be able to substantially eradicate rabies here in the province,” Hon. Gov. Imee R. Marcos said. Representatives from the province’s league of mayors and barangay captains expressed statements of commitment. Hon. Jessie Galano, President of the Barangay Captains League said in his statement, “We are happy that this (CARE) Project will benefit the barangays especially the families in our communities. We embrace this program.”

The CARE Project aims to strengthen and support the current Provincial Rabies Program through activities on: prevention of dog bites and human rabies; elimination of rabies in dogs; establishment of surveillance and diagnostic systems; and community advocacy and education on rabies prevention into elementary schools.

The project launching was followed by a symposium with discussions on the current rabies situation and implications of rabies elimination. The event aims to engage the different stakeholders and to strengthen the Provincial Rabies Control Council (PRCC). It emphasized the need for collaboration between the different sectors in order to make the project successful especially in the community-level.

Contributed by Elaine Llarena, Head of Asia Community Education for GARC with additional text and photos from Ms. Rose Ann Pulido, UP Development Communication student-intern.