imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

Dog bites and Madam Hermie


By Edward B. Antonio

Recently, there had been many negative talks which pertain to some employees at the Gabriela Silang General Hospital (GSGH) in Tamag, Vigan City.

The last time I heard one was when a male patient went to a radio station and there, he expressed his disgust about the shabby treatment he received.

But there were no tables unturned.

When news of what happened reached authorities concerned at the Ilocos Sur Provincial Capitol, everything was set straight. I yet have to hear other stories of patients or their relatives who have been there and were not accommodated properly. Even the district hospitals in the province are getting better with their services.

But one of the many things I noticed that need to improve around the GSGH compound are some of the “carinderia” stalls, especially those plying their business in front of the hospital. They need better, newer and “more sanitized” (sorry for the term) tables, spoons, forks, bowls and plates. Their utensils are quite old already, and these “carinderias” should be more presentable to the people, particularly to their customers. The last time I ate there, the spoons and forks are supposed to be soaked steadily with boiled water. They need also to display table napkins for customer use, and toothpicks, too!

Well, this is just an observation, fellas.

Now, back to the GSGH, if there is one of the many employees whose way of treating victims of animal bites, it would be one Herminia Barcelona.

When I learned that my son, Genghis was bitten by our 2-month old puppy, “Widodo,” I immediately took a 1-day leave to attend to the matter. I was worried as I remembered the cases of the late Fernando Poe, Sr. and photojournalist Jose Claudio who both died of rabies infection from their puppies in the 50’s. But first, I surfed at the internet if a 2-month old puppy like Widodo is already capable of rabies infection.

An article says that puppies normally do not have the rabies virus if they have been confined to just one place and never have been bitten by a rabid dog. But I was doubtful of Widodo because he was bitten a week ago by a neighboring dog. His wound covers below his right eye and during the first days of his agony, his right eye was swollen, I had to administer antibiotics to prevent infection.

And so, we sped off to GSGH, but unfortunately, it was already lunch break when we reached the Animal Bite Section. Back at 12:40 at the GSGH, I took time to call my friend (a teacher-nurse) Glenn Directo to ask for advice as Genghis’ wound was only a scratch from the Widodo’s fangs.

“A scratch is a bite, so an anti-rabies treatment should be administered,” Glenn said. “You can contact Madam Herminia Barcelona there at the Provincial Health office and he will assist you immediately.”

True to Glenn’s words, Madam Hermie, a fair-skinned and pretty health officer, took the cudgels 10 minutes before 1:00 PM. She interviewed Genghis and made all the recordings. Then she injected the 1st of 4 anti-rabies vaccines.

But not only that, fellas.

Madam Hermie and her 2 companions there at the Animal Bite Section even explained the 3 categories of animal bites (dogs, cats, bats, horses, cows): Category 1: if the animal licks any part of a human; Category 2: if the bite is just a scratch or superficial or if the animal licks an open wound and Category 3: if the bite is severe and there is profuse bleeding.

Before we left, she gave us a card that would remind Genghis of his vaccine schedules.

“If, after the 3rd injection and your dog is still alive and displays no abnormal behavior, you may not come back anymore because your dog is not infected with rabies,” she said.

After thanking her and her staff lavishly, I asked how much to pay for the vaccine.

“None, sir” she said with a smile.

So, next time you and your family have problems with animal bites, just contact Madam Hermie there at the Provincial Health Office, fellas.

And you will get the superb treatment my son and I received.

Kudos, then, to Madam Hermie and her staff there at the Animal Bite Section.

May all employees there at the GSGH be like you!#