The province of Negros Oriental received five awards from the Department of Health at the 2022 Local Health Systems Awards, including a monetary award of P1 million for achieving Malaria-Free Province status.
Negros Oriental was recognized for its “exemplary and commendable efforts” in eliminating malaria transmission in the entire Province. The National Malaria Technical Working Group declared the Province malaria-free last week.
“For 10 years already, we haven’t had any indigenous cases of malaria. What we have are only imported cases…where people acquired malaria infection from outside the country,” said Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion in an interview.
An Award of Excellence in Mosquito-Borne Diseases Program Management was also presented for the Province’s exemplary efforts in its implementation.
“Dengue usually shoots up every three years, and this year is the third year, so we expected to have many cases. But throughout Region VII, Negros Oriental has the lowest [number of cases]. Other places experienced outbreaks but we didn’t. We only had nine deaths and 2,092 cases,” Estacion said.
The Integrated Provincial Health Office was also recognized for its participation in the Zero Open- Defecation Program which requires that all barangays in an area have access to hygienic toilets.
“Out of the 557 barangays in Negros Oriental, we have inspected 189, and they do have sanitary toilets. The municipalities of Bindoy and Mabinay have been declared as zero open-defecation status,” Estacion said. (Lyca Taboada and Polyhymnia Dana Oblimar/SU Masscom)