Suspected malaria cases in Maguindanao probed

By Lore Mae Andong, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at Nov 13 2012 08:36 PM | Updated as of Nov 14 2012 04:36 AM

COTABATO, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is conducting a thorough investigation on reported cases of malaria in Datu Blah Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.

DOH-ARMM Sec. Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr. said they have yet to confirm if the reported illnesses are linked to malaria, but a surveillance team has been dispatched to the area to investigate.

Information the DOH received shows there are already 13 reported deaths due to malaria that started in the month of September, but Sinolinding said no report reached his office prior to the information.

There was also no reports reaching either the integrated provincial health office or the municipal health office.

"But we are still thankful na lumabas ito so this can pave way for an investigation para ma-ascertain natin ‘yung katotohanan, kasi we would like to help talaga," Sinolinding said.

In the region, malaria is endemic in the mountainous areas of Upi town and coastal areas, the official said.

He added that there are also areas of concern in mainland Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.

The Global Fund and Movement Against Malaria has been relatively successful in its projects in the the region.

The DOH-ARMM, on the other hand, is also exerting all efforts to verify the malaria outbreak report and stop the spread of the disease.