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The use of the rapid test kits for rabies establishes early detection of rabies and accelerates the beginning of treatment, most especially in high-risk areas.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in a press statement announced that the Immunochromatographic Test Kit (ICT kit) for rabies “supports easy, fast, and accurate diagnosis of the disease.”
The ICT kit was innovated by Dr. Akira Nishizono of Oita University and Japanese pharmaceutical company ADTEC, in cooperation with JICA and the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI).
Rabies diagnosis usually takes about two to three hours using a microscope and an incubator in normal circumstances, but with the new ICT kits, the time of diagnosis is reduced to just 20 to 30 minutes, thus accelerating the detection and beginning of treatment against the disease.
“JICA vows to support the rabies prevention and control program in the Philippines for the next two years by providing ICT kits for evaluation and provide necessary trainings to all regional animal diagnostic laboratories nationwide,” the statement added.
Citing the Department of Health, JICA said that rabies remains a public health problem in the Philippines. It is the most severely fatal infectious disease that is responsible for the death of about 200 to 250 Filipinos every year, and at least one-third of human rabies deaths are among children less than 15 years old.