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Antique Wants to Be Malaria-Free
« on: April 18, 2019, 04:35:29 PM »
ILOILO CITY – The province of Antique is looking towards being declared as malaria-free, after 11 years of not having any case of the mosquito-borne disease.

Maria Lourdes M. Monegro, Entomologist II at the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Western Visayas, said in a press conference on Monday that program officers and consultants from their funding partner, Global Fund, will arrive in Antique from Manila on the last week of this month for the conduct of validation.

The last indigenous case of malaria in the province was monitored way back in 2008, she said.

“One of the criteria is that they should have no indigenous cases for the past five years,” Monegro cited.

In Western Visayas, only two provinces have yet to be declared as malaria-free -- Antique and Negros Occidental.

Of the two remaining provinces, only Antique has signified its intent to be declared as free from malaria.

The validation is just in time for the observance of the World Malaria Day on April 25. This year’s celebration has the theme, “Zero Malaria Starts With Me”.

Meanwhile, Monegro said this year and in 2018, they have monitored a total of four "imported" malaria cases in the region.

In 2018, those infected were from the towns of Patnongon in Antique and Dingle, Iloilo.

This year, the infected were both Ilonggo seafarers -- a 40-year-old from Lambunao and a 26-year-old from Barotac Viejo who acquired the infection in Ghana, Africa. Both have already been treated.

“Workers came from endemic areas, mostly from Africa. Malaria can be acquired through mosquito bites, particularly by the anopheles mosquitoes,” Monegro said.

Treatment for malaria takes only three days and the medicines are available at the DOH.

Out of the 81 provinces in the Philippines, 50 are already malaria-free and 27 are on elimination phase, which means they have no cases for the past five years.

Four areas still have local transmission or have indigenous cases -- Palawan, Occidental Mindoro, Sultan Kudarat and Sulu. (PNA)

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