DoH declares four provinces ‘malaria-free’
THE Department of Health (DoH) has declared four provinces in the country as “malaria-free,” having no reported localized transmissions of the mosquito-borne disease over the past five years.
The provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Rizal, Aurora and Cotabato have been included in the list of areas with zero incidences of Malaria over the past five years.
Health Officer in Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire personally led the declaration of the province of Oriental Mindoro as a malaria-free province during an event held in Puerto Galera on Dec. 2, 2022.
She thanked all health workers, volunteers, technical and administrative staff, and partners at both the regional, provincial, municipal and village level who made the elimination of malaria in the province possible.
Vergeire added that the gains of Oriental Mindoro “must be achieved” to prevent the re-establishment of transmission through different strategies, such as the provincial elimination hub, health promotion, malaria case management, and other on-the-ground measures that needed to be sustained.
In a separate briefing on Tuesday, Vergeire said that the inclusion of the four provinces meant that 80 out of 81 provinces in the country have been free of malaria.
Only three provinces had been free of malaria historically, the provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Catanduanes, while other provinces had been sporadically declared malaria-free since 1995.
Only Palawan continues to have cases of malaria among all provinces in the country, and Vergeire said that they are now working with the provincial government, the World Health Organization, and private partner Pilipinas Shell Foundation to achieve the feat.
“We are working very hard with the local government and we are helping with the private sector and the World Health Organization to achieve Palawan as a malaria-free province,” Vergeire said.