by Paul Jaysent Fos, Romblon News/PR | Friday, 26 February 2016
The Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) will increase its malaria elimination activities in all endemic areas in Palawan through a more intensified Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) as approved during the three-day planning workshop with various municipal health officers of the province held at the Asturias Hotel in Puerto Princesa City on February 22-24, 2016.
According to Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo, they will implement a three cycle spraying operation to ensure that the efficacy of the insecticide will be sustained and remained effective throughout the duration of the operation until the start of the succeeding operation.
“In this way, the effective and immediate elimination of malaria causing mosquitoes in the target municipalities can be assured and reduction of malaria cases in the province can be achieved,” Dr. Janairo stated.
Action plans for the different municipalities were finalized and will be implemented starting March onwards,” he emphasized.
The DOH-MIMAROPA Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) recorded a total of 13 new cases from January 1- February 19, 2016. Among the munipalities with the highest incidence of malaria cases were Taytay with 6 malaria cases followed by Bataraza -3, San Vicente -2, and Sofronio Espanola and Puerto Princesa City with 1 case each.
Among the top municipalities with the highest incidence of malaria cases in 2015 are Rizal with 1,725 cases; Bataraza with 736 cases; Brooke’s Point – 639 cases; Quezon – 247; Puerto Princesa City – 241; Sofronio Espanola – 232; Balabac – 137; Aborlan – 83; Narra – 49; Roxas – 5; San Vicente – 3; and Taytay with 1 case.
In 2015, a total of 7,437 malaria cases were recorded with 13 deaths compared to 4,206 cases with 5 deaths in 2014.
“We also provided 155,725 long lasting insecticide treated nets to 302,310 families for them to place in their homes for added protection against malaria mosquitoes. This year we have allocated 241,800 of these treated nets for distribution in all areas of concern in Palawan,” Janairo assured.
Director Janairo added that the regional office continuous to provide trainings for Barangay Health Workers in coordination with the local government units and there are now a total of 118 Barangay Microscopist who have completed the Refresher Course on Malaria Microscopy and a total of 108 Barangay Health Workers trained on Rapid Diagnostic Test in the province.
To further strengthen and ensure malaria treatment and care services, the third Palawan Research Institute for Malaria Mosquito-borne diseases (PRIMM) located at the PEO Compound in Barangay Bancao – Bancao in Puerto Princesa City was established last year to serve as a hub for all malaria-diagnostic and entomological trainings, quality assurance and research and development for regions IV-B, V, VI, and VII. It is equipped with malaria microscopic training laboratory and slide bank, entomology training laboratory and insectary. The other centers are in Tuguegarao and Davao.
The center was established through the initiative of the Movement Against Malaria, a joint project of Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc., Regional Health Office – MIMAROPA and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine with financial support coming from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Malampaya Joint Venture Partners of Shell Philippines Exploration, Chevron Malampaya LLC and the Philippine National Oil Company.