CHO records 13K animal bites in 2023

The City Health Office (CHO) exhorts residents to help make the city rabies free by seeking medical attention when bitten by domestic rabies-carrying animals, particularly cats and dogs.

This as City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite shared during yesterday’s press briefing that the city’s statistics on animal bites for 2023 has reached 13,620.

The figure, however, only reflects cases reported to the City Health Office for appropriate treatment and excludes those who did not seek medical attention.

Despite the high number, Dr. Miravite is pleased that the same high number of people go to their office for their shots to prevent rabies.

“If you look at our numbers, it’s a two-sided thing. Although malaki nga sya happy tayo na pumupunta sa atin [para] magpabakuna kasi ayaw natin na hindi nagpapa-anti-rabies vaccination,” she said.

In addition, CHO recorded rabies cases last year, only the exact number was not on hand during the media briefing.

The local health official also advocates for responsible pet ownership, urging residents to have their cats and dogs vaccinated regularly to ensure Zamboanga’s rabies cases remains low, if not zero.

To this end, the CHO works in close partnership with the Office of the City Veterinarian (OCVet) to give pet owners access to free anti-rabies shots and promote animal welfare. The veterinary office conducts vaccination sorties in the barangays to ensure maximum coverage.

The call for responsible pet ownership comes in time for the observance of Rabies Awareness Month next month pursuant to Executive Order No. 84, series of 1999. (Claudine Uniana)