Rabies One Health Symposium held in Laguna, Philippines

In time for the conclusion of the National Rabies Awareness Month, the Rabies One Health Symposium was held last March 28, 2014 at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Los Baños, Laguna. With the theme “Working Together for a Rabies-free Laguna,” the activity focused on engaging various stakeholders on how to work hand-in-hand to eliminate rabies in the province.

Municipal/City Health Officers, City Veterinarians, and Municipal/City Agriculture Officers from the Province of Laguna, as well as representatives from the Department of Education and UPLB attended the symposium. The participants worked on identifying the challenges and solutions for rabies elimination in their respective districts.

One of the significant outputs of the workshop is participants’ commitment which was signified by the ceremonial signing of a Pledge of Commitment on their support to strengthen the Provincial Rabies Elimination Program and achieve a rabies-free Laguna.

Speakers at the symposium shared rabies case histories in the province and prevention measures.

Key resource speakers CHD4-A Rabies Coordinator Ms. Shiela B. Berbano, Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) -Animal Health Division Chief Dr.Emelinda l. Lopez, DA-BAI, Acting Director Dr.Rubina O. Cresencia, Laguna Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Mary Grace M. Bustamante, and Laguna Provincial Health Officer Dr. Judy A. Rondilla.

UPLB Chancellor Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz graced the event by giving the welcoming remarks.

GARC Country Representative Dr.Ma.Luningning E. Villa emphasized that One Health is to bring all stakeholders to work together in rabies elimination; banking on sharing the strengths of each sector towards the goal of being rabies-free.

Furthermore, winners of the One Health Challenge 2013 were awarded. Their community activities to support rabies elimination were shared in the program.

The One Health Challenge 2013 was a competition held by GARC to promote collaboration between human and animal health sectors in rabies elimination.

The three winners are groups from Ateneo de Zamboanga University-School of Medicine, Municipality of Diplahan, ZamboangaSibugay; Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of the University of Philippines Manila-College of Medicine; and SAVER/LADY SAVER of the De La Salle Araneta University.

These groups conducted activities that embodied and promoted rabies awareness and prevention through One Health in their respective communities. The winners received cash prizes and plaques of recognition.

Contributed by Eunice Mendoza, GARC Community Education Officer.