Dogs transmit 99% of cases of recorded human rabies deaths. It is estimated that 59,000 human deaths occur annually worldwide due to rabies. The annual average of deaths due to rabies in the country is 231, putting us behind in the goal of achieving a Rabies-free Philippines by 2022.
According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), mass animal vaccinations and 70% vaccine coverage of the at-risk dog population are the most effective methods to control rabies. If local dog population data is unavailable, such as in the case of the Philippines, they are estimated using the 1:10 dog to human ratio.
Our research data suggests that the country is underestimating the actual dog population by using this ratio, establishing the urgent need to revisit the current guidelines in order to provide adequate vaccine coverage.
Read our policy brief to know more about our recommendations to address this gap:
You may also read the full manuscript here: https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0009948
Title: Household survey on owned dog population and rabies knowledge in selected municipalities in Bulacan, Philippines: A cross-sectional study
Published in : PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, January 2022
Pubmed ID: 35041682