Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo strongly stated that the Department of Health has vowed there will be no let down in the fight for the elimination of Malaria in the region, especially in the province of Palawan during his speech at the 9th Malaria Congress held in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on November 29, 2017.
“We have to strengthen our strategies and approaches in the elimination of malaria in the region, first is that community intervention must be sustained such as regular cleanup drives and information dissemination activities, second is that 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 malaria carrier or not,” Director Janairo emphasized.
According to the 2017 Provincial Malaria Data of Palawan, the top five municipalities with the most number of cases are Rizal with 1,294; Balabac with 686; Bataraza – 656; Brooke’s Point – 360; Quezon – 142; and Puerto Princesa City with 91 cases.
From January 1 to November 30, 2017, there are a total of 3,360 positive cases out of the 146, 256 patients tested in Palawan. A significant decrease of 45.21% from the 6,132 cases reported for the same period last year.
“This figure is a great improvement in our fight against malaria, but then again these are all figures. Data speaks but it does not mean anything unless you go down to the affected communities and personally see to it that there are no existing malaria cases,” Janairo added.
Marinduque in 2008 and Romblon in 2012 are the only two out of five provinces in MIMAROPA who are declared Malaria Free. Oriental Mindoro has zero case since 2012 and for assessment at the end of this year. Palawan and Occidental Mindoro are still malaria-endemic provinces but with a 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 at we have already started implementing these strategies,” Janairo assured.