Malaria is a parasite-caused disease that is usually acquired through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. It can be transmitted in the following ways:
(1) blood transfusion from an infected individual;
(2) sharing of IV needles; and
(3) transplacenta (transfer of malaria parasites from an infected mother to its unborn child).
This parasite-caused disease is the 9th leading cause of morbidity in the country. As of this year, there are 58 out of 81 provinces that are malaria endemic and 14 million people are at risk. In response to this health problem, the Department of Health (DOH) coordinated with its partner organizations and agencies to employ key interventions with regard to malaria control.
Vision: Malaria-free Philippines
Mission: To empower health workers, the population at risk and all others concerned to eliminate malaria in the country.
Goal: To significantly reduce malaria burden so that it will no longer affect the socio-economic development of individuals and families in endemic areas.
Based on the 2011-2016 Malaria Program Medium Term Plan, it aims to:
1. Ensure universal access to reliable diagnosis, highly effective, and appropriate treatment and preventive measures;
2. Capacitate local government units (LGUs) to own, manage, and sustain the Malaria Program in their respective localities;
3. Sustain financing of anti-malaria efforts at all levels of operation; and
4. Ensure a functioning quality assurance system for malaria operations.
The Malaria Control Program targets the meager-resourced municipalities in endemic provinces, rural poor residing near breeding areas, farmers relying on forest products, indigenous people with limited access to quality health care services, communities affected by armed conflicts, as well as pregnant women and children aged five years old and below.
The DOH, in coordination with its key partners and the LGUs, implements the following interventions:
1.Early diagnosis and prompt treatment
Diagnostic Centers were established and strengthened to achieve this strategy. The utilization of these diagnostic centers is promoted to sustain its functionality.
2. Vector control
The use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, complemented with indoor residual spraying, prevents malaria transmission.
3. Enhancement of local capacity
LGUs are capacitated to manage and implement community-based malaria control through social mobilization.
For the development of health policies, the Malaria Medium Term Plan (2011-2016) is already in its final draft while the Malaria Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and Plan is being drafted. The Malaria Program is being monitored in six provinces as the Philippine Malaria Information System is being reviewed and enhanced.
In strengthening the capabilities of the LGUs, trainings are conducted. These include: series of Basic and Advance Malaria Microscopy Training; Malaria Program Management Orientation and Training for the rural health unit (RHU) staff; and Data Utilization Training. Also, there are the Clinical Management for Uncomplicated and Severe Malaria and the Malaria Epidemic Management.
Lastly, health services are leveraged through the provision of anti-malaria commodities.
The following organizations/agencies take part in achieving the goals of Malaria Control Program:
- Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc, (PSFI)
- Roll Back Malaria (RBM); World Health Organization (WHO)
- Act Malaria Foundation, Inc
- Field Epidemiology Training Program Alumni Foundation, Inc. (FETPAFI)
- Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM)
- University of the Philippines-College of Public Health (UP-CPH)
- Philippine Malaria Network
- Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)
- Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN)
- Malaria Elimination Group (MEG)
- Local Government Units (LGUs)
Dr. Mario S. Baquilod
Department of Health-National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (DOH-NCDPC)
Contact Number: 651-78-00 local 2353
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