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In Palawan, DOH and its allies fight malaria all-out war

For the Department of Health (DOH), whose goal is to eradicate malaria from the Philippines by 2030, the geographic situation in Palawan presents a significant barrier.

All provinces in the country, with the exception of Palawan, are malaria-free, according to a study from the DOH Standards and Strategy Division in February. Of the 66 malaria-free provinces, 15 have no indigenous cases of the disease.

Vergeire claimed that the DOH is still working with the University of the Philippines, Pilipinas Shell, the local government, and other parties to eradicate malaria cases in Palawan by 2027.

“Marami pa ring masusukal na loka dito sa island areas of Palawan. Forestry in the Kanilang region is very wealthy. (There are numerous deep forests and island locations in Palawan.) Doon kase nagta-thrive ang mga lamok na nagdadala ng malaria. Rich forestry is present. In a media briefing on Tuesday, DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the area is a haven for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

3,157 confirmed cases of indigenous malaria, mostly in the southern region of Palawan, were reported in 2022. In three to four years, the DOH wants to get rid of the disease.

The potentially fatal parasitic disease known as malaria is spread to humans by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

Vergeire stated that in addition to the informational campaign, the DOH would keep giving the affected areas insecticide-treated nets.

She said, “We’ll help them have additional sprayers because we spray insecticide to get rid of the mosquitos, so tutulong tayo sa kanila para magkaroon ng additional na sprayers (We’ll help them have additional sprayers).”

In 2021, there were 619,000 malaria-related fatalities and 247 million infections, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO African region’s malaria mortality rate in 2021 is expected to be approximately 80% among children under the age of five, making them the most vulnerable population.

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