Public vigilance urged to maintain malaria-free Antique

The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) has urged the public to be vigilant to maintain the status of Antique as a malaria-free province.

IPHO chief Dr. Ric Noel Naciongayo said in an interview Thursday there is a big challenge for the IPHO and the people to maintain Antique as malaria-free following the declaration by the World Health Organization and the Department of Health at Bayleaf Hotel in Manila last December 5.

There is a big challenge for us to maintain Antique as malaria-free, he said.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease causing fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. It could also cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death in severe cases.

Naciongayo said people are encouraged to immediately report any suspected case and seek immediate treatment if they have the signs and symptoms of malaria. The IPHO Surveillance Team is also being tasked to closely monitor the island of Semirara in Caluya town.

There is a need to closely monitor Semirara island because it was where the last malaria cases in the province were monitored in 2010, he said.

Caluya is near Palawan and Mindoro. Malaria, however, is still considered endemic in Palawan and Mindoro that close monitoring of people from these places entering Caluya should be done.

Meanwhile, Naciongayo said the tedious work of the IPHO Infectious Disease Cluster headed by Sheree Vego, the public health nurses, and the support of the provincial government of Antique resulted in the declaration of the province as malaria-free.

He added the vigilance and safety measures implemented by the residents in Semirara made their campaign successful. The residents of Semirara had been doing indoor residual spraying against mosquitoes twice a year, he said.

The Caluya municipal government likewise had been providing residents with insecticide-treated mosquito nets as a preventive measure against mosquito bites.

Source: Philippines News Agency