DOH-ARMM notes aggressive occurrence of tropical diseases in region

April 22, 2015 9:33 am 

COTABATO CITY, April 21 – – The lack of access to potable water sources and open defecation has resulted to high incidence of malaria and other Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), its health department reported.

In a forum held here Monday, Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr., ARMM health chief, said that the NTDs thrive mainly among the poorest populations.

In the ARMM, other tropical diseases include filariasis, schistosomiasis, rabies and food and water borne diseases. Sinolinding said the forum was aimed at strengthening ties among regional line agencies to totally eradicate these diseases because they affect a significant number of the region’s population.

DOH-ARMM records show high cases of malaria, filariasis and schistosomiasis in the island provinces of Tawi-Tawi, Sulu and Basilan.

Further, food and water borne diseases are rampant in the entire region, most commonly in coastal areas due to the lack of access to potable water and the prevalent practice of open defecation.

"The NTDs affect the whole ARMM area. Attention had been given but it is just not enough," Sinolinding said.

Representatives from various line agencies joined the forum and discussed workable interventions made by the region to tackle NTDs.

Sinolinding said his agency could not address the problem alone. “With coordination and collaboration, we expect a cascading effect from our office to the communities,” he stressed.

He said DOH-ARMM is making headway in combating malaria through an intensified awareness campaign, improved case detection and case holding, and the provisions of better health facilities.

Such interventions, he said, have brought down malaria cases in the region from 3,481 cases in 2009 to 807 as of 2014. (PNA)

LAM/NYP/

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