A child undergoes blood smearing for a malaria parasite. (Photo by Kilusan Ligtas Malaria)

Despite the hurdles posed by the coronavirus disease pandemic, the provincial government and Kilusan Ligtas Malaria (KLM) continue their goal to achieve a malaria-free Palawan by 2030.

KLM program manager Aileen Balderian said it is difficult to visit malaria-affected barangays because of COVID-19, but they are doing their best to continue their efforts to gain targets that will lead to eliminating the disease.

Balderian said that at the height of the pandemic in 2020, the province logged 5,259 malaria cases from January to October. This year, they have already recorded 3,485 in the same period.

“Sa ngayon, medyo mahirap talaga pumunta sa mga barangay kasi nagkaroon tayo ng re-alignment sa programs because of COVID-19. Then, more on COVID response tayo talaga,” she said.

“But, hindi puwedeng i-set aside ang program natin on malaria, kaya kahit papaano kailangan natin tutukan ito lalo pa dito sa Palawan,” she added.

Balderian said that although such is the current situation, they have enough medicine and anti-malaria supplies to prevent more cases.

Included in their supplies are the long-lasting bed nets, and services such as blood smearing for malaria parasites and malaria case surveillance.

She also said Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) is continuously helping in the elimination of malaria in the province.

“Mayroon tayong sapat na pasilidad, mayroon tayong mga ospital at RHU from provincial government, of course ‘yong mga collaterals natin like kulambo, tuloy-tuloy ‘yan, kasama na rin ‘yong blood smearing at case detection natin, especially doon sa mga area na mataas na talaga ang malaria cases. And, of course, with the help of our partner agency Pilipinas Shell Foundation Incorporated (PSFI),” she said.

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