Malaria is a disease caused by one or more species of the protozoan parasite called Plasmodium which is usually transmitted through the infective bite of a female Anopheles mosquito, and rarely through blood transfusion or the sharing of contaminated needles and syringes. As a disease, it may result in death if not promptly detected and properly treated.
Malaria was historically the most common and most persistent mosquito-borne infection in the Philippines (although it is now being overtaken by arbovirus infections like dengue).
P malariae is present in some areas, where it may contribute a minority of cases (generally <5%). Historically, cases of P ovale have been recorded in Palawan, Sulu and Luzon, but this species is rare in the Philippines. A fifth species, P knowlesi, is zoonotic among certain species of macaque monkey, notably in Sabah, Malaysia, but also in Palawan where it was first isolated in 2006. A survey undertaken by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in 2010 showed that 9 of 16 presumed cases of P malariae from sentinel sites in southern Palawan tested positive for P knowlesi by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) (2).
Malaria infection usually thrives in forested, hilly or mountainous, and hard to reach areas. Disease transmission is perennial and generally higher during the rainy season. It may occur during a single rainy season peak each year or in a biphasic peak, as in the south of the country, where two distinct rainy seasons occur. High-risk groups include upland subsistence farmers, forest workers, indigenous populations (IP) and settlers in frontier areas, and migrant agricultural workers.
The principal vector throughout much of the Philippines is Anopheles flavirostris – mainly a foothill, stream-breeding species (although not entirely restricted to that environment), and found from coastal plains near sea level up to 600m elevation – occasionally higher (up to
1,500m). It has a strong preference for clear, slow-moving fresh-water habitats that are typical-ly partly shaded by vegetation and with stream margins that contain aquatic plants. This species is both endo- and exophagic. It is opportunistic in its feeding habits and has a short flight range of just 1-2 km.
Other anopheline species are present but are much less prominent as actual or potential vectors: An balabacensis in upland forested areas, An maculatus and An mangyanus. An litoralis is found in the coastal areas of Tawi-Tawi and other parts of southern Philippines, and may have a role in maintaining transmission in fishing and coastal communities (1).
Malaria is both a health problem and a socio-economic concern that affects the overall well-being of people. It undermines the health and welfare of families, endangers children’s survival and debilitates the rest of the population. Malaria imposes a heavy toll on the economy - straining the country’s scarce resources and perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Not only are there direct costs associated with the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, but also indirect costs such as the time lost from work or absence from school while being ill of the disease or caring for an infected family member.
Moving forward, the program will align its strategies with the framework of the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria (for 2016-2030), particularly the key pillars of ensuring universal access to malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, acceleration of efforts towards elimination and attainment of malaria-free status, and transformation of malaria surveillance into a core intervention.
The 2011-2016 Malaria Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) envisioned a malaria-free Philippines and aimed to achieve this by progressively shifting the program approach from control to elimination.
The Plan recommended strategies to accelerate this transition through the installation and maintenance of a functional surveillance system, micro-stratification of malaria transmission down to the barangay level , and establishment of elimination hubs in malaria-prone and malaria-free areas, innovative interventions among identified high-risk population groups, implementation of responsive vector control measures, continuous access to quality diagnosis, management and treatment services, and strengthening of the capacities of Local Government Units (LGUs) to manage and implement the Malaria Program.
A Malaria-free Philippines.
To empower health workers, the population at risk and all others concerned to eliminate malaria in the country
1. To ensure universal access to reliable diagnosis, highly effective and appropriate treatment and preventive measures.
2. To capacitate LGUs to own manage and sustain the malaria Program in their respective localities.
3.To sustain financing of anti-malaria efforts al all levels of operations
4. To ensure a functioning quality assurance system for malaria operations.
The Malaria Control Program targets the meager-resourced municipalities in endemic provinces, rural poor residing near breeding areas, farmers relying on forest products, indigenous people with limited access to quality health care services, communities affected by armed conflicts, as well as pregnant women and children aged five years old and below.
AREA OF COVERAGE
POLICIES AND LAWS
STRATEGIES, ACTION POINTS, AND TIMELINE
1.Early diagnosis and prompt treatment
Diagnostic Centers were established and strengthened to achieve this strategy. The utilization of these diagnostic centers is promoted to sustain its functionality.
2. Vector control
The use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, complemented with indoor residual spraying, prevents malaria transmission.
3. Enhancement of local capacity
LGUs are capacitated to manage and implement community-based malaria control through social mobilization.
- Stakeholders & Consultative Meeting
- Conduct of Vector Mapping with hands on trng. with LGUs partners
- Collection of Malaria vector Larva
- Engagement at barangay level
- Capability and skill development on malaria microscopy for government and private Med.Techs
- Provision of vector control equipment and commodities
CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES
PROGRAM MANAGER CONTACT INFORMATION