By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
TWO seafarers from Iloilo province were diagnosed with an “imported” type of malaria, according to the Department Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6.
The two seafarers are the first two cases in the region in 2019.
According to Entomologist III Maria Lourdes Monegro, the first case recorded in January was a 40-year-old seaman from Lambunao while the other is a 26 year-old seaman from Barotac Viejo.
Monegro said both seafarers came from Ghana, Africa.
“Although we don’t have indigenous cases sa Western Visayas for how many years, we have two imported cases as of 2019. Usually, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are recorded imported cases. Kalabanan halin sa Africa,” she said.
Last year, two imported malaria cases in Patnongon, Antique and Dingle, Iloilo were also recorded, Montenegro added.
Malaria is not common in the region since the last indigenous case was recorded in 2008.
“Malaria is not common sa Western Visayas kay wala ta kaso since 2008. The imported cases are brought here by OFWs who are exposed to endemic areas,” she said.
Antique is one of the two provinces in the region that is eyeing to be declared as “malaria-free”.
Montenegro said the province of Antique signified its intent to apply for the declaration.
“By last week of April, mapa-validate sila sa central office and we will assess if they can pass our set of criteria. One of the criteria is that they should have no malaria case recorded in five consecutive years,” she noted.