Article: Aklan Forum Journal
The Provincial Health Office (PHO) has advised the public not to use the traditional practices like rubbing garlic on the wounds, tandok and black porous stone (bato) that may further contaminate the wounds of animal bite patients.
“Tandok” is a procedure or ritual by traditional healers by extracting the rabies virus using an animal horn or “sungay” from a rabies patient.
Instead, wounds should be washed thoroughly with soap/ detergent, and water, preferably for 10-15 minute and apply alcohol or any antiseptic and bring the patient to the nearest animal bite treatment or centers, said Provincial Health Officer I Dr. Cornelio Cuachon, Jr.
These are private or government-operated health facilities where individuals with potential rabies exposure are evaluated and managed with Postexposure Prophylaxis.
Cuachon said rabies is among the leading causes of deaths next to pneumonia and high blood. In Aklan, the total animal bite cases reported for the year 2016 totalled to 5,838 from 3,448 in 2015 or an increase of 70 percent.
Seven treatment centers operating in Aklan are providing affordable and quality services to animal bite patients. These are the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital, Saint Gabriel Medical Center, Panay Health Care Multi-purpose Cooperative Hospital, Altavas District Hospital, Ibajay District Hospital, Municipal Health Office in Banga and the Provincial Health Office Aklan (PHO-Aklan).
Government-operated facilities are opened from Monday to Friday except for the privately-operated family vaccine and specialty clinic at Aklan provincial hospital which is open until Saturday morning while private hospitals treatment centers are operating 24/7.
Rabies is a viral disease transmitted among animals and from animals to man through excretion of rabies virus via saliva and is transmitted to a new victim through a bite or through penetration of infected saliva into broken skin.
Bites from infected animals are the most common mode of transmission of rabies to humans. Exposure to rabies may come from bites of infected dogs, cats, other domestic and wild animals including bats.
Casual contact, such as touching or talking to a person with rabies or contact with non-infectious fluid (blood, feces), does not constitute an exposure and does not require post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
Cuanchon said March has been declared Rabies Awareness Month under Executive Order No. 84 and September 28 as World Rabies Day.
This year’s rabies month theme is “Rabies Iwasan, Alaga’y Pabakunahan.”