There will be “no letup in the fight for the elimination of malaria in the Mimaropa region, especially in Palawan,” Department of Health regional director, Dr. Eduardo Janairo, said Friday morning.
The regional health director added there is a need “to strengthen strategies and approaches in the elimination of malaria in Mimaropa.”
“First, community intervention must be sustained, such as regular cleanup drives and information dissemination activities; second, both public and private schools must be protected and fitted with Olyset-treated nets; and third, all individuals must be tested by blood to confirm whether an individual is a malaria carrier or not,” Janairo said in a statement.
Based on the 2017 Provincial Malaria Data of Palawan, the top five municipalities with the most number of malaria cases are Rizal with 1,294; Balabac with 686; Bataraza with 656; Brooke’s Point with 360; Quezon with 142; and Puerto Princesa City with 91 cases.
From Jan. 1 to Nov. 30 this year, there were about 3,360 positive cases out of 146,256 patients tested in the province.
Janairo said the figure shows a 45.21 percent decrease from the 6,132 cases reported in the same period last year.
“This figure is a great improvement in our fight against malaria, but then again, these are all figures. Data speak but these do not mean anything unless you go down to the affected communities and personally see to it that there are no existing malaria cases,” he said.
Of the five provinces in Mimaropa, Marinduque in 2008 and Romblon in 2012 had been declared “malaria-free”.
Oriental Mindoro, on the other hand, has had no case since 2012 and its declaration as malaria-free is currently being assessed.
“Palawan and Occidental Mindoro are still malaria-endemic provinces but with remarkable decrease in cases noted since 2011. We will provide all support to attain our objective of eliminating malaria by 2020 or sooner. We will ensure that every resident of these affected municipalities will be malaria-free. We have all the studies, the data and the resources needed and we have already started implementing these strategies,” the health official said.
On Nov. 29, Janairo was here to attend the 9th Malaria Congress, held annually in observance of National Malaria Awareness Month.
The event was jointly implemented by the Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc., the provincial government of Palawan, the Provincial Health Office, DOH-Mimaropa, and the Kilusan Ligtas Malaria.