THE Department of Health (DOH)-Davao has recorded zero cases of Malaria in Davao Region since July 2017, which can be attributed to the intensified health projects implemented in the communities.
In an interview with DOH-Davao Regional Dengue Control and Prevention Program Manager engineer Antonietta Ebol on Tuesday, May 21, she said Davao region has been Malaria-free since 2017 but DOH has not yet declared the region as a whole as Malaria-free because there are still some provinces that were not declared as free.
“Zero malaria cases meaning wala ng reported malaria cases in Region 11,” Ebol said.
In Davao Region, Davao Occidental, Compostela Valley, and Davao Oriental have already been declared as Malaria-free while they are still conducting assessment for Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.
Ebol said the Davao City has not yet been declared as malaria free despite not having any reported malaria cases in the last two years. She said if the city does not have any malaria cases reported in another three years, then that will be the time they will declare it as malaria freel.
In the previous years, malaria disease was found to be prevalent in Marilog and Paquibato districts in Davao City.
She attributed the recorded zero cases with the “development of new technologies, strengthened interventions like use of insecticide-treated nets; early diagnosis of malaria suspects; case surveillance and follow up of last cases, and effective treatment.”
Malaria is contracted from a bite of an infective female Anopheles mosquito that breeds in rivers and lakes. It can also be transmitted by blood transfusion and possibly mother to child before and or during birth.
Its symptoms usually start nine to 14 days after the bite of a mosquito. Infected individuals may suffer high fever, headache, chills, and shivers, nausea, and vomiting.
In severe form, symptoms may include severe vomiting and diarrhea, generalized convulsion, delirium, and impaired consciousness, followed by coma and possibly death.
DOH aims to reduce the incidence of malaria by 90 percent in 2022 towards achieving a malaria-free country by 2030.