CCT beneficiaries to be tapped in malaria fight?

THE DEPARTMENT of Health is considering the inclusion of malaria measures as a condition of its partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s conditional cash transfer (CCT), especially for upland communities vulnerable to the mosquito-borne disease.

Speaking at Wednesday’s Club 888 media forum, DOH regional director Abdullah Dumama said the DOH could ask the beneficiaries of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program to avail of the the long-lasting insecticide nets (LLINs) to prevent the spread of the disease.

Dumama said there’s enough supply of the mosquito nets, but that they were still working on the information and education campaign about the disease.

The agency also handed awards yesterday to 14 municipalities from the region which have been declared malaria-free as of 2014. They received P60,000 each in cash incentives.

For Davao Region, only three provinces have recorded zero malaria cases as of 2014, but these were for different periods.

Davao Oriental, for example, is preparing its declaration of being malaria-free after recording zero indigenous cases from 2010 to 2014.

Compostela Valley has had no malaria cases from 2011 to 2014.

Davao del Sur, meanwhile, has had no malaria cases from 2013 to 2014.

This year, Davao del Norte has still not been declared malaria-free after recording one case in the first quarter.

“But we haven’t recorded any deaths,” Dumama said.

The performance of the region’s malaria control program cut the incidence of confirmed malaria cases by 99%, with 5,860 cases in 2001 to only 67 in 2014.

For 2015, the agency is aiming to assess nine more municipalities, with Compostela, Mati, Tarragona, Caraga, and Cateel, Davao Oriental already assessed as of April.

For the third quarter, the agency has scheduled the assessment of four more municipalities, Matanao, Davao del Sur, Mawab, and Pantukan, Compostela Valley and Tagum City.

Dumama said the agency has established a collaborating center designed to support the malaria control program, in its goals ot achieve the millennium development goals and a target of a malaria-free Philippines.

The center would provide technical assistance for Mindanao in terms of capacity building for its researchers and field workers.

At the moment, the agency is augmented with a P4.4 million funding from the Global Fund Malaria Project through the Movement Against Malaria. The budget for the agency’s malaria control program for the region, according to infectious diseases coordinator Gracita Berguia, is P9 million for the year.

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