COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Cases of malaria in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) went down significantly in the first quarter of 2016, the ARMM’s Department of Health (DOH-ARMM) reported. Dr. Kadil Sinolinding, DOH-ARMM secretary, said only 33 malaria cases were reported regionwide in the first quarter compared with a quarterly average of roughly 68 cases last year. Twenty-one of the reported cases monitored from January to March this year are from Sulu province, while Tawi-Tawi and Maguindanao have nine and three cases, respectively. Earlier, DOH-ARMM officials said the number of malaria cases in the region went down to 274 cases last year from 3,539, or a quarterly average of close to 900 cases, in 2012. The DOH-ARMM conducted recently a forum aimed at strengthening its partnership with various stakeholders including regional line agencies and the health department employees. It also sought the renewal of commitments in totally eliminating malaria in the region.