Press Release 19 April 2023

The Department of Health- Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) commended a total of 82 champions composed of different local government units and private institutions for acknowledging the collaborative efforts and hard work of everyone who contributed to the success in achieving malaria-free region status.

The commendation was given during the Malaria-Free Regional Celebration and Awarding Ceremony with the theme: "Sulong Calabarzon, Sulong Kalusugan! Innovate, Invest and Implement Healthy and Malaria-Free Communities," held at the Novotel Hotel in Araneta Center Cubao, Quezon City on April 17, 2023.

The Province of Cavite was declared malaria-free in 2005, followed by Batangas in 2010, Quezon and Laguna in 2019, and lastly, Rizal in 2022, which Calabarzon has achieved a malaria-free region status. The Province of Rizal recently declared malaria-free status and also received a 1 Million cash incentive to sustain its malaria-free status.  

DOH Officer-in-Charge Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire, who graced the event, acknowledged the efforts and support of all partners and reiterated the country's commitment to achieving country-wide malaria-free status by 2030.

"We reiterate our commitment to achieving country-wide Malaria-free status by 2030. The goal is within our reach, but we must continue our work to achieve this fully. Patuloy ang DOH sa pagtulong na mapababa ang ating local transmission sa bansa upang lahat ng probinsya ay makakamit ng elimination status. We will also facilitate the assessment of provinces with elimination status so that they can join Malaria-free provinces like Region 4A,” said DOH OIC Singh-Vergeire.

“Malayo na ang narating natin sa laban nating ito. Kung tayo ay makakampante na lang ngayon, maaaring bumalik ang Malaria sa ating mga nasasakupan at mabalewala ang lahat ng ating mga tagumpay. Kaya naman, tuloy-tuloy lang ang ating mga programa, polisiya, at surveillance upang agaran nating matugunan ang mga magsusulputang kaso. Remember that, if treated early, Malaria cases can be mitigated, and transmission and re-introduction can be prevented. The challenge laid out, the next step is sustainability, sustain ZERO malaria at all costs until the country finally achieves it. Kaya naman, sama sama po tayo at magtulong-tulong para sa isang Healthy Pilipinas," she added.

On his part, Regional Director Ariel I. Valencia thanked all partners and stakeholders, including National Government Agencies (NGAs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Local Government Units (LGUs), and Private Institutions for their assistance, proactive engagement, exemplary practices, accomplishments, and initiatives in attaining and sustaining a disease-free status. 

To sustain the malaria-free status, a functional provincial elimination hub was created to undertake malaria surveillance and response, health promotion, malaria case management, and local. Each province ensures that surveillance is its primary approach to prevent disease re-introduction and resurgence. The 1-3-5 surveillance strategy was likewise implemented, which ensures prompt notification and response on confirmed malaria cases, such that all suspect cases are immediately detected and notified within 24 hours, notified cases are investigated within three days, and focus is investigated and responses done within five days. 

A new set of tools has been implemented to complement this strategy, the Online Malaria Information System (OLMIS). Access to high-quality malaria diagnostic services were also in place through their active participation in the Malaria Quality Assurance System. A sustainable health plan was also developed to ensure that the disease-free status was maintained at all levels.

DOH Calabarzon has been actively working with different municipalities in the Calabarzon region and aligning its interventions to protect the public against mosquito-borne diseases.  

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. The disease is preventable and curable.

Here is the complete list of awardees during the Malaria-free Regional Celebration with the theme "Sulong Calabarzon, Sulong Kalusugan! Innovate, Invest and Implement Healthy and Malaria-Free Communities."