CITY OF MALOLOS- After five consecutive years of having no Malaria case in the province from 2014 to 2018, the Province of Bulacan has been declared as Malaria-free by the Department of Health during the 7th Neglected Tropical Diseases Stakeholders’ Forum held at the Century Park Hotel in Manila last Thursday, August 15, 2019.
Together with the provinces of Ilocos Sur, Ifugao, Kalinga, Pampanga, Catanduanes, Davao Occidental and Agusan Del Sur, Bulacan received a plaque of recognition and one million pesos cash prize that can be used to support sustainable plans to avoid the reemerging of indigenous case of Malaria in the province.
Dr. Napoleon Arevalo of the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau of the DOH shared the DOH’s vision to make the Philippines free of NTDs such as malaria, filariasis and rabies years from now.
“We are in the midst of crisis because of the National Dengue Epidemic. As we eliminate Malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases, let us not forget dengue in our midst because the strategy to control the vector is the same,” Dr. Arevalo said.
Meanwhile, Governor Daniel R. Fernando expressed his gratefulness to former governor and now Vice Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, to Provincial Health Office-Public Health headed by Dr. Jocelyn Gomez and her staff, and to the four endemic Local Government Units namely City of San Jose del Monte and the municipalities of Norzagaray, Doña Remedios Trinidad and San Miguel who worked hard for the past years to achieve this momentous recognition.
“Ang mga mamamayan ng Bulacan, higit sa lahat, sila ang marapat na magbunyi sa balitang ito sapagkat ngayon wala ng pangamba sa kanilang dibdib sapagkat wala ng kaso ng nakamamatay na sakit sa ating lalawigan. Ngunit gayunpaman, sana po ay magpatuloy ito at ugaliin natin na maglinis ng ating kapaligiran. Ugaliin natin na ayusin ang ating pamayanan sapagkat ang kalusugan po ay napakahalaga sa lahat,” the governor said.
It can be remembered that the malaria situation in the province started its significant number in the year 2008 with 28 cases and had a significant increase in the number of cases in three consecutive years from 2009 to 2011: 93, 87 and 88 cases respectively.
The Provincial Government of Bulacan stepped up to eradicate the malaria cases in the province by conducting training to strengthen service capability; prevention and control measures through entomological surveillance, case finding, indoor residual spraying (IRS) and long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) distribution, and border operation; and service capability by establishing malaria facility not only in endemic areas but also in non-endemic areas that eventually led to zero cases in 2014.
Meanwhile, to maintain zero-Malaria case, the PGB vows to sustain elimination by early diagnosis and prompt treatment, strengthening referral system, active surveillance system, awareness and advocacy to the community and stakeholders, local executive support, establishment of Malaria Elimination Hub, ensuring of availability of malaria commodities, and continuous monitoring of the four endemic areas.