The Department of Health (DOH) in Mimaropa (Mindoro Oriental and Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) has conducted intervention measures against a reported rise in malaria cases in Palawan with more than 5,000 people afflicted since January this year.
Regional health officials said at least five municipalities–Rizal, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, Balabac and Quezon–were among those with high incidence of the mosquito-borne illness.
They noted a 17-percent incidence increase in Brooke’s Point, based on records from January until the end of October this year.
The DOH Mimaropa conducted blood smear test, rapid diagnostic test and immunochromatographic test for filariasis on residents in the affected areas.
It distributed insecticide-treated mosquito nets to one thousand families and hygiene kits to children.
The regional health officials noted a lack of knowledge and lack of tests were among the reasons for the increasing number of residents afflicted with malaria.
In 2015, Palawan registered a higher number of malaria cases with 7,437 and 13 reported deaths.
Afflicted areas with deaths are the towns of Taytay, Bataraza, San Vicente, Sofronio Espanola and Puerto Princesa City.
A three-cycle indoor residual spraying (IRS) operation in all malaria-endemic areas was conducted last year to eliminate malaria-causing mosquitoes.
Malaria is a mosquito-transmitted disease and considered as the ninth leading cause of death in the Philippines.
Its symptoms include fever, headache, chills and vomiting and it can progress into severe illness and death if not given prompt treatment.