Agusan del Norte registers fewer malaria cases
By Robert E. Roperos
Butuan City (21 June) -- With its effort to strengthen health services in the 10 municipalities and one city, the provincial government of Agusan del Norte has been delisted from Malaria "A" to Malaria "B" level of infestation, which means that now, there are only below 500 cases of malaria found, comparing to the previous number of cases which is more than 500.
"The province's Annual Parasitic Incidence (API) for Malaria also decreased from 3.15/1,000 population to 0.62/1,000 population resulting to the declassification of Agusan del Norte as Malaria "A" to Malaria "B" province (below 500 cases)," Gov. Erlpe John Amante said recently.
According to Amante, the significant reduction of malaria in the province is credited to the establishment of screening centers in strategic locations and the professionalism and dedication of its health workers.
"Massive treatment was a strategy we adopted to get rid of these eradicable diseases as we heed the call for its global elimination. Many figures have been decreasing including the positivity rate for Tuberculosis which was 18.6% in 2008 but has lowered to 16.67% in 2009. Our cure rate was 92.7% of those diagnosed," he said.
Also, Amante said the provincial government has started to improve its main health facility by upgrading and rehabilitating of the Provincial Hospital as well as enhancing its diagnostic capability with the acquisition of the state-of-the-art medical and laboratory equipment, combining a cost of Php 13 million.
The access to safe water is another significant indicator for healthy families and with the implementation of additional 125 small and medium scale water system projects costing Php 2.6 million, 94% of all households in the province has already access to safe potable water. "We are certain the gap is closed before the end of my term," Gov. Amante assures.
In terms of food security, the province was able to ensure that the constituents' staple food of rice and corn are maintained in sufficient quantities. The NFA procured at prices advantageous to the farmers over 27,755 cavans of rice and 1,924 cavans of corn. "Also some 7,382 bags of certified seeds were distributed to farmers," Gov. Amante said. (PIA-Caraga) [top]