DUMAGUETE CITY – The province of Negros Oriental has remained malaria-free for seven consecutive years and will be given due recognition by the Department of Health (DOH) in Region 7, said Dr. Liland Estacion, the head of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) on Monday.
She said DOH-7 Regional Director, Dr. Jaime Bernadas, will hand over an award to the province, through Governor Roel Degamo, on Tuesday at the Negros Oriental Convention Center’s Vissonaire’s Lounge here.
According to Estacion, Negros Oriental is the only province in the Central Visayas region to have been declared malaria-free.
While there may be some reported cases here, these are not “indigenous” or “locally-transmitted”, rather they are “imported”, meaning an infected person had contracted the disease outside of the province, even though they may be treated here, she said.
The last recorded locally-transmitted malaria case in the province was in the municipality of Sta. Catalina, Estacion said.
She attributed the accomplishment to the “knowledge of the constituents, especially in Sta. Catalina where we had seen the last case of malaria plus the massive information drive undertaken by the province”.
Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted via the vector Anopheles mosquito and can affect humans and animals.
Meanwhile, the visit of Bernadas is also timed for the ongoing course in preparation for the implementation of the Universal Health Care program, Estacion said.
Degamo is enrolled in the Provincial Leadership Governance Program -- a combination of training and coaching to help provincial officials analyze their healthcare capacities -- that runs for 18 months, she said.
Bernadas comes regularly to help in the coaching of the governor and this is already the third session for the province with some 10 mayors also enrolled in the same program, Estacion added. (PNA)