THE Department of Health (DOH) in the Mimaropa region has expressed anxiety over the increase in malaria cases in Palawan last year and the possibility of it being sustained this year.
In a statement, DOH–Mimaropa Director Eduardo Janairo noted how the province registered a higher number of malaria cases in 2015 with 7,437 and 13 deaths compared to 4,206 cases with five deaths in 2014.
From January 1 to February 19 this year, a total of 13 new malaria cases have already been recorded by the DOH-Mimaropa Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.
Palawan municipalities with the reported malaria cases were Taytay with six; Bataraza, three; San Vicente, two; and Sofronio Espanola and Puerto Princesa City with one each.
Because of this, Janairo said he has already ordered a three-cycle Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) operation in all malaria endemic areas in Palawan.
"In this way, the effective and immediate elimination of malaria causing mosquitoes in the target municipalities can be assured and reduction of malaria cases in the province can be achieved," said Janairo.
The IRS operations, he said, will start next month in different concerned municipalities.
In addition, Janairo said a total of 241,800 of long lasting insecticide treated nets have been set for distribution in all areas of concern in Palawan.
Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes.
Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, chills, and vomiting and can progress into severe illness and death if not given prompt treatment.
Mimaropa is composed of the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan. (HDT/Sunnex)