The Philippines could become malaria-free by 2020 as cases of the disease dropped significantly in recent years, a senior government official said today.
Health Secretary Enrique Ona disclosed that malaria cases in the Philippines plunged by almost 80 percent to 9,642 in 2011, from 43,441 in 2003.
“This decrease is the lowest malaria level on record for the country in 42 years,” said Ona.
He said the Philippines had already met one of its Millennium Development Goals which calls for halting and reversing the incidence of malaria by 2015.
Ona said that out of the 58 provinces where malaria is endemic, nine were malaria-free for at least three years.
Besides, 40 provinces are on their way to eliminate malaria, reporting less than one case per 1,000 population-at-risk while 10 provinces have had malaria cases under control.
“Based on these data, the Philippines has a very high possibility of being declared malaria-free by 2020,” he said.