Four Provinces to be declared Malaria-Free!

The Department of Health (DOH) malaria control program will declare four more provinces as malaria-free namely Batanes, Romblon, Camarines Sur and Province of Dinagat Islands. The ceremonial declaration will be held on 28 November 2012 at the Bayview Hotel, Manila.

Camarines Sur was assessed by the DOH malaria Technical Working group in November 2011, Batanes in May 2012, the Province of Dinagat Islands in July 2012, and Romblon last August 2012. Assessment of province to be declared as malaria-free requires data records review, field visit evaluation at the health facility and community, and mosquito-vector collection.

Many provinces have reached pre-elimination phase, which means they had more than 50% reduction in cases and 70% reduction in mortality. The provinces of Abra, Misamis Occidental and Quirino are prioritized for visit by the DOH Malaria Technical Working Group, to provide technical assistance on strategic planning so as to strengthen surveillance, quality assurance on diagnosis and treatment, and vector control. These provinces has achieved less than 0.10/1,000 API for the past 3 years.

Twenty three (23) provinces have maintained malaria-free status. These are Albay, Aklan, Batangas, Benguet. Biliran, Bohol, Camiguin, Capiz, Catanduanes, Cavite, Cebu, Guimaras, Iloilo, Marinduque, Masbate, Siquijor, Sorsogon, Eastern Samar, Northern Leyte, Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, Western Samar and Surigao del Norte.

Malaria-free provinces maintains and complies with National Malaria Program malaria strategies and interventions such early diagnosis and prompt treatment, continuous vector surveillance and control, malaria case surveillance and epidemic management, ensuring the quality of services through quality assurance systems, the intensification of health promotion. Lastly, achievement of malaria-free status is attributed to local government units (LGUs) to manage and sustain malaria program in their respective localities.