Baguio, Benguet malaria-free – DOH

April 11, 2013 11:33 pm 

BAGUIO CITY, April 11 — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday declared that Baguio City and the rest of Benguet are now malaria-free as no case of the disease was recorded in the province in the last five years.

During the "Kapehan sa Benguet" media forum, Dr. Luisa Paran, chief of the disease prevention cluster of the DOH regional office, said that the seven malaria cases in the Cordillera Administrative Region last year were in Apayao and Kalinga provinces where the mosquito-borne disease is endemic.

Records show that since the end of World War II in 1945, malaria control had been always in the government agenda.

Soldiers during the last global war died in their mountain operations in the region either due to bullet from the enemy or malaria.

Since the 1970s, malaria control and eradication in this part of the country were undertaken by the government, which at times received assistance from foreign organizations, most notable of which was the World Health Organization (WHO).

In the last five years, while it was true that no malaria case was reported in Baguio and Benguet Province, just like the other parts of the Cordilleras like Mountain Province, Abra, Kalinga and Ifugao, dengue cases were reported and became a health concern attended to by the government health workers.

The relatively new mosquito-borne ailment is due to the virus from a certain "Aedes Aegypti" mosquito which only thrives in warm areas in the Philippines.

For several years after 1980, Baguio and Benguet were also free from any case of dengue.

However, when "global warming" also affected this mountain resort 250 kilometers north of Manila, the aedes aegypti mosquito was also determined to be able to produce larvae and ultimately adult "dengue mosquitoes" here.

These days, the DOH and World Health Organization are again partners in addressing the perceived rise in dengue cases here and other parts of the country. (PNA)

LAP/AAG/AAGALACGAC

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