Lingayen- - -Pangasinan is a candidate for Malaria Disease Free Zone to be certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) if the province can sustain the five years consecutive zero case until end of this year.
This was stated in the report prepared by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) based on the data gathered by the Field Health Service Information System (FHSIS), which pointed out that Pangasinan has not recorded any malaria parasite incidence from 2011 up to this date.
Provincial Health Officer Anna Ma. Teresa De Guzman disclosed that the province has incurred incidence on malaria parasite in the past to include 18 cases in 2006, 39 in 2007, 12 in 2008, 16 in 2009, and 5 in 2010.
Since then, the provincial government under the stewardship of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. has launched intensive measures to make Pangasinan a malaria-free province, Dr. De Guzman said.
She stressed that several activities were conducted to strengthen efforts in attaining the goal of zero malaria incidence. These include active case surveillance through regular blood smearing of symptomatic patients from endemic areas, vector control measures institutionalized through the conduct of border operations, indoor residual spraying of houses and distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets.
In addition, the provincial government has conducted seminars/workshops involving the local government units (LGUs) on concise planning and health manpower development.
The PHO also intensified its effort to reach all endemic barangays and sitios in the province for the conduct of health education campaign.
Gov. Espino likewise directed the PHO to maintain strong partnership among health institutions, stakeholders and Department of Health Regional Office to successfully achieve the goal of zero malaria case incidence throughout Pangasinan.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans (s group of single-celled microorganism) belonging to the genus Plasmodium.
Its symptoms include fever, fatigue, vomiting and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma and death.
The disease is transmitted by the biting of mosquitos, and the symptoms usually begin ten to fifteen days after being bitten. If not appropriately treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later. (Ruby R. Bernardino)