27 provinces declared malaria-free

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

TWENTY-seven provinces in the country have already been declared as being malaria-free as of last year, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

In a statement, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said that of the 53 provinces that are endemic for malaria, 27 have already been certified free from it.

These are Cavite, Batangas, Marinduque, Catanduanes, Albay, Masbate, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Bohol, Cebu, Siquijor, Western Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Northern Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Camiguin, Surigao Del Norte, Benguet, Romblon, Batanes, and Dinagat Islands.


Ona added that sooner than later, the whole country can already be declared as being malaria-free.

"The Philippines is on course of eliminating malaria in the Philippines by 2020," said Ona.

He said the country reported an 83 percent reduction of malaria cases from the 46,342 cases in 2005 to only 7,720 in 2013.

Ona also related that there was a 92 percent reduction in the number of deaths within the same period with 150 in 2005 to 12 last year.

The DOH said this development proves that the strategies that are being adopted by the Philippines is effective in eliminating the mosquito-borne disease.

The DOH noted that the country was already able to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on malaria as early as 2008.

According to MDG 6, the World Health Assembly called for a 75 percent reduction in the global malaria burden by 2015.

Malaria is a disease caused by parasite called Plasmodium and is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito vector, Anopheles.

The disease is more common in the rural and hard-to-reach areas such as in the hills, mountains and coastal areas, thereby making upland subsistence farmers, forest workers, indigenous people and settlers in frontier areas, including migrant agricultural workers as well as children under five years old and pregnant women as among those high at risk. (HDT/Sunnex)

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