BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) disclosed all the six provinces in the region will be malaria free by the year 2018 because of the decreasing number of reported cases over the past several years.
Roy F. Fiaching, DOH-CAR medical technologist, said the agency is now concentrating its anti-malaria efforts in Ifugao, Mountain Province, Kalinga and Apayao where there are still imported malaria cases that are reported because of the movement of people from malaria affected areas like the provinces of Cagayan and Palawan and South Africa.
“By next year, Ifugao and Mountain Province might be declared malaria free depending on the available reports from the ground, thus, it will only be the provinces of Kalinga and Apayao that need the necessary interventions to achieve the goal of a malaria free region by the year 2018,”Fiaching stressed.
He explained that a province could be declared malaria free if there are no reported indigenous malaria cases over a 5-year period upon the validation of the health department.
In 2005, Baguio and Benguet were declared malaria free by the health department while Abra was also placed in a similar boat in 2014 following the five years where no indigenous cases were reported by health authorities.
According to him, the country aims to be declared malaria free by the year 202 that is why all efforts are being done by health authorities in order to achieve such goal considering the continuous drop in the number of areas that record malaria cases.
Fiaching confirmed that all the provinces in the region zero malaria cases in 2013 that is why the possibility of declaring Ifugao and Mountain Province malaria free by next year is likely while the declaration of Apayao and Kalinga as malaria free by 2018 is achievable.
Malaira is caused by the anopheles mosquito and is characterized by sudden chills of patients, high fever among others.
Fiaching advised individuals encountering such symptoms to immediately seek the assistance of health personnel of the nearest health facility in their places because they will be subjected to the so-called rapid tests in order to ascertain whether or not they have been infected by malaria for them to be provided with the proper medication.
He asserted malaria is curable and an individual who is infected with the illness could be able to feel the effects of the female mosquito bite within one to two weeks after being bitten, thus, the best thing to do in such cases is to seek early medical attention so that they can be prescribed with the appropriate medication for them to get well.