Philippines

South Cotabato intensifies watch vs filariasis, malaria

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South Cotabato intensifies watch vs filariasis, malaria
By Anna liza Cabrido

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (Philippines News Agency) — The South Cotabato provincial health office said it has stepped up interventions to prevent the entry of the new cases of filariasis and malaria from neighboring areas.

Jose Barroquillo, mosquito-borne disease program coordinator of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said Tuesday they have intensified their monitoring of villages near the province’s boundaries due to the reported cases of the two diseases in nearby provinces.

He said the Department of Health (DOH)-Region 12 confirmed late last month the increasing cases of filariasis in the upland village of Maligang, Kiamba town in Sarangani Province.

Maligang is close to Barangay Tudok, which is among the remotest villages of T’boli town in South Cotabato.

In coordination with DOH-12 and the rural health unit of T’boli, Barroquillo said they conducted a four-day immersion in Tudok last week to check for possible cases of filariasis among residents.

He said they also conducted surveillance activities for malaria, noting that the disease usually emerges along with filariasis.

“The nearest market in the area (Tudok) is in Kiamba and residents need to pass by Maligang to go there,” he said.

During the immersion, Barroquillo said they distributed 500 units of mosquito-treated nets that were provided by DOH-12.

He said they also collected blood samples from residents for laboratory examination for malaria and filariasis. The results of the examination, which was facilitated by the DOH-12 regional laboratory, are scheduled to come out next week, he said.

The DOH and the World Health Organization declared South Cotabato province as filariasis-free in 2013, and malaria-free last year after recording zero indigenous cases for at least five years.

The neighboring provinces of Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat have not yet achieved such status and still have cases of the two diseases, according to DOH-12. (PNA)

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