The Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that 80 out of 81 provinces in the Philippines were now considered malaria-free.
Palawan was the only province where malaria cases were found in the past several years, with most provinces being declared malaria-free since 1995. Cebu, Bohol, and Catanduanes were tagged as “malaria-free historically.”
In 2002, Oriental Mindoro, Rizal, Aurora, and Cotabato provinces were declared malaria-free.
“Ang malaria-free provinces, ang criteria nito is the absence of local transmission of malaria for the past five years,” Vergeire explained.
The health OIC said the DOH has been working closely with the local government of Palawan and the private sector to make Palawan malaria-free.
“Ngayon, nakikipag-trabaho tayo of course with the local government unit of Palawan so that we can achieve also this malaria-free province areas. Syempre, alam natin na it is not just mosquitos pero ‘yung environment where the mosquito thrives para ating ma-prevent ‘yung pagkalat ng transmission ng sakit na ito,” Vergeire added.
— Ronald Espartinez