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PIA Press Release
2008/02/08

Global Fund extends malaria program in Kalinga

TABUK CITY, Kalinga (8 February) -- The province continues to be a recipient of the Global Fund Malaria Component (GFMC) Project after the Global Fund extended its program in the country giving focus on the 21 province beneficiaries of its Round 2 program.

According to the Kalinga Field Operations Malaria Management Head, Ferdinand Ayangang, the extension phase or Round 6 is projected to consolidate the gains made by the Round 2 projects through expansion of access to diagnostic and treatment services, increasing mosquito net coverage and establishment of mechanisms that will ensure the sustainability of these desired outcomes through public private partnership.

Designed to strengthen local response and health systems through public private partnership, the Round 6 project aims to consolidate, expand and sustain high coverage of early diagnostic and treatment services for malaria.

The GFMC will conduct trainings, procure and distribute anti-malarial drugs, laboratory supplies, Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits and microscopes, establish diagnostic facilities, strengthen quality assurance for diagnosis and treatment, and assess functionality of diagnostic and treatment facilities.

The second objective is to intensify vector control methods to break off the transmission of malaria through the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLIN) in high risk areas, re-treatment of the conventional nets distributed in Round 2, survey on the utilization of bed nets, Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), conduct of training on Malaria Surveillance and Epidemic Management, and the establishment of Regional IRS Stockpiles.

Third objective is to strengthen local capacity through community systems strengthening for sustainable community-based malaria control and management. This seeks to establish local health financing scheme and partnership with the private sector on the malaria treatment and malaria control management.

The five-year expansion program will commence after the Round 2 project ends this year.

Ayangang informed that with Kalinga considered as highly endemic of malaria, the disease remains prevalent despite the implementation of the Malaria Control Programs (MCP), grants and external assistance to the province.

During the duration of the Round 2 Programs of GFMC from 2003-2007, it was observed that cases decreased in 2004. However, in 2005 malaria cases remarkably increased but dropped in 2006 which continued until 2007.

"As far as GFMC is concerned, when the project started in 2003 high number of malaria cases had already been observed. The second year was focused in the conduct of trainings and the distribution of treated bed nets," he said.

The effective case finding and procedures of reporting explains the peak of recorded cases in 2005 which is "a collective result of trained health workers, and established microscopy and RDT sites in hard to reach areas of the province"., Ayangang said.

In 2007, GFMC identified Pinukpuk as having the highest recorded incidents with 90 malaria confirmed cases followed by Rizal with 65 cases, Tabuk with 46, Tanudan with 27, Balbalan, 17 and Pasil. There were no recorded cases in Tinglayan, a reason why the Department of Health (DOH) declared the municipality as malaria-free.

As recalled, Kalinga was chosen as one of the 25 beneficiaries of the Malaria Control program of Global Fund where through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), the GFMC provides training of health personnel, equipments, drugs and the salary of barangay microscopists for the first year with the concerned local government units to later sustain the programs through the creation of plantilla for these trained health workers.

Some LGUs failed to fulfill their obligations in the MOA like the provision of salaries and wages to health workers because of no fund allocations, and this could pose as a problem in the implementation of the GFMC Round 6 extension programs in the province, Ayangang disclosed.

Ayangang recommended that with the support of GFMC, LGUs should endeavor to have a quality health center with complete health workers, upgraded equipments and should have Philhealth accreditation to help them with the logistics to sustain the health centers. (ggd/PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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