CITY OF MALOLOS – The Provincial Government of Bulacan in partnership with the City Government of San Jose del Monte observed World Malaria Day with the theme “End Malaria for Good” by giving a free medical mission complete with medicines and Malaria awareness talk in Sitio Karahume, Brgy. San Isidro, CSJDM, Bulacan yesterday.
Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said in his speech delivered by his daughter Ma. Rosario Sy-Alvarado Mendoza that having healthy citizens indicates that good and effective health programs are being implemented in the community.
Further, Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, head of the Provincial Health Office-Public Health, said that even though the province is on its fifth year of having zero malaria case, activities like this need to continue to prevent reintroduction of new cases from imported cases. She added that through various efforts, Bulacan is now on its way to being declared as a malaria-free province.
“Malakas ang ugnayan ng pamahalaang nasyunal, regional at provincial and apart from this, our health workers do continuous monitoring and surveillance. Nagsasagawa din tayo ng blood screening kahit wala tayong kaso ng malaria,” Gomez said.
The event is also a venue to correct some misconceptions about how malaria is transmitted because most residents in the area like Cayotano Dela Paz believes that drinking not boiled water is one cause of the disease. Others believed that it is caused by eating fruits like cashew and papaya and other vague theories that malaria is caused by fatigue or sorcery.
Bulacan Malaria Program Coordinator Annie Balingit opposed these misconceptions and explained that malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes and is preventable and curable.
According to World Health Organization, in 2016, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, an increase of 5 million cases from 2015 and malaria deaths reached 445,000 in 2016, a similar number (446,000) to 2015.
Meanwhile, the medical mission serviced more than 300 residents who availed different services including checkup with appropriate medicines, vaccines for babies, x-ray, and blood screening for malaria and tuberculosis.
They also distributed 300 mosquito nets and 50 pregnancy packages that include ferrous sulfate, baby book, informative materials about healthy pregnancy and safe delivery and home-based maternal record (HBMR), a simplified system for recording risk factors and early signs or symptoms of complications in a form easily understood by the mother.
Benjamin San Jose, the dumagat chieftain from CSJDM, expressed his gratitude for the activity.
“Napakalaki ng puso ng pamahalaan para sa amin at lagi kaming naaalala kahit na nga malayo kami. Kasi kung kami ang pupunta ng provincial, 500 ang gastos namin balikan, kung ganoon magtitiis na lang kami ng sakit dito, pero dito sa ginawa na ‘to kumpleto na pati gamot kaya kami’y nagpapasalamat,” San Jose said.