Malaria to be eradicated in the Philippines by 2015

Malaria to be eradicated in the Philippines by 2015

GINGOOG CITY, Philippines (May 30, 2014) — Malaria, an infectious disease of humans causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, which in severe cases can progress to coma or death brought by the bites of an infected female Anopheles mosquito, will be eradicated completely next year in the entire country, said health authorities, here as they joined the nation recently in the observance of World Malaria Day.

Asst. City Health Officer Agnes Centino, M.D. said the 15-year program implemented since the year 2000 will culminate soon with multi-billion pesos worth of expenditures by the Department of Health (DOH) until 2015.

“Out of the 78 provinces throughout the country, previously endemic of malaria, 68 have been declared malaria-free as of May, 2014. Of the 1,600 cities and municipalities, 760 are now malaria-free or of the 42,972 barangays all over the country, only 9,345 remain endemic.

The events of World Malaria Day, here on April 25, 2014 include among others a motorcade, thanksgiving mass celebrated by Rev. Father Pol Gumapo followed by a program at the region’s biggest venue – ASL Gym where exciting eight Mosquito Dances were performed by various participants from the so-called “Gingoog Inter-Local Health Zone” comprising the four Municipalities of Balingoan, Talisayan, Medina and Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental and the City of Gingoog.

Meanwhile, the City Council, here headed by Hon. Vice Mayor Erick Canosa, the son of the late City Vice Mayor Avelino, the youngest Chairman of the City Council at the age of 28, good looking but still single and fondly called Gingoog’s version of Piolo Pascual, earnestly assists the unified efforts to completely eradicate malaria, here next year by providing the needed vehicles used in filling up soil on the swampy areas of the city which have been the breeding grounds of infected female anopheles mosquitos.

It was learned that the World Malaria Day on April 25, 2014 has a theme “Invest in the Future. Defeat Malaria.” It was aimed at elevating to the higher level the world’s awareness on Malaria as a killer disease.

The global efforts to control and eliminate malaria have saved an estimated 3.3 million lives since 2000, reducing malaria mortality rates by 42% globally. Increased political commitment and expanded funding have helped to reduce malaria incidence by 25% worldwide.

Every year, more than 200 million malaria cases occur. Most of these cases are never tested or registered. Emerging drug and insecticide resistance threaten to reverse recent gains. (LOR VILLA ENCENZO)

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