Malaria cases on decline this year

Residents of an indigenous community in southern Palawan can be seen in this photo trying out the treated mosquito nets distributed by the Kilusan Ligtas Malaria. (Photo courtesy of KLM)

The Provincial Health Office (PHO) said there has been a marked decrease in malaria incidence in the province this year compared to the previous year.

Aileen Balderian, Kilusan Ligtas Malaria (KLM) Program Manager, said that from 3,808 positive malaria cases reported last year, the incidence went down to 1,800 cases this year.

She said they have been stepping up efforts to eradicate the mosquito-borne disease with the help of Global Fund and Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. (PSFI) and wants to reach the final or “elimination phase” of the program by 2022.

“Dapat by 2022 ay nasa elimination phase na tayo, ibig sabihin dapat wala na tayong nabibilang na kaso. Sa ngayon ay nasa control phase pa tayo. So, ayan ang target natin para by 2030 whole Philippines naman ang ma-declare as malaria-free,” Balderian said.

She noted that so far, the towns of Rizal, Balabac, Bataraza, Quezon, and Brooke’s Point have registered the highest incidence of malaria while the towns of Culion, Araceli, Dumaran, Cuyo, and Kalayaan have been declared malaria-free.

“Mas pinaigting ang monitoring natin ngayon dahil talagang inaakyat na ng mga volunteers ang mga bundok. Ang spraying naman ay tuloy-tuloy at ginawa ng tatlong beses sa isang taon para bago mag-expire ang insecticide ay nalagyan na ulit,” she added.

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