DA's Bureau of Animal Industry to Assist Farmers in Averting Schistosomiasis on Farm Animals

Manila Bulletin, October 11, 2018 | Go to article overview

DA's Bureau of Animal Industry to Assist Farmers in Averting Schistosomiasis on Farm Animals


By Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY - The regional office of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) here is now ready to assist farmers in combating schistosomiasis on their farm animals, DA 13 spokesperson Emmylou Presilda told The Manila Bulletin on Thursday.

Presilda said that unknown to the general public, schistosomiasis does not only affect humans but also animals especially farm animals that might be exposed to infested water.

She said the BAI of the DA 13 is eyeing the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratories (DA-RADDL) to include schistosomiasis diagnosis in its array of services to farmers.

"This is in relation also to the program of the Duterte administration through DA Secretary Manny Pinol that the food program of the government should not be disrupted by any animal disease and the government is ready to assist our farmers," Presilda said.

To capacitate laboratory personnel, the BAI and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) of the Department of Health conducted a 3-day extensive training in Butuan City hosted by DA Caraga RADDL recently on Oct. 2-4, 2018.

According to the World Health Organization, schistosomiasis is an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms that infect people during routine agricultural, domestic, occupational, and recreational activities that expose them to infested water.

"Schistosomiasis is affecting farm animals too but as of now we don't have concrete data on how prevalent it is in the country since its study generally focuses on the human side," said Dr. Daria Manalo, chief science research specialist of RITM, told the Manila Bulletin.

She explained that farm animals exposed in areas with the presence of the intermediate host snail called Oncomelania species will most likely be infected by the disease.

"Oncomelania species of snail is very small, as small as the tip of the ballpen," said Dr. Manalo. She said the common notion is that the parasite-causing disease can be contracted from the golden apple snail (GAS) commonly seen in rice paddies or irrigation canal linings. …

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