Thousand Islands first
region to be certified

The Health Ministry has officially recognized Thousand Islands regency as the country’s first region free from malaria.

“This year, the Thousand Islands regency has successfully become the first region to obtain a malaria-free certificate,” Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said at the 2013 World Malaria Day celebration in Jakarta, on Thursday.

“I’m sure and believe that in the coming years, one at a time, all the regions of our beloved country, Indonesia, will be free from malaria,” she added.

Nafsiah said malaria was an important health problem in the world that caused an enormous negative impact on the quality of human resources.

Citing the World Health Malaria Report, she said that 219 million malaria cases with 660,000 deaths were reported in 2012.

“In Indonesia, 417,000 malaria cases were reported in 2012, with almost three quarters of the total cases in Papua, West Papua and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT),” Nafsiah said.

She explained that the ministry’s malaria control initiatives included initiating the Forum Gebrak Malaria (Hitting malaria forum) in 10 provinces in 2013, increasing malaria centers in eastern parts of Indonesia to 11 from the current eight and empowering 2,022 village-level malaria posts (Polmaldes) across Indonesia; as well as distributing insecticide-treated bed nets, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), and anti-malarial drugs.

In 2013, the Health Ministry will distribute 2.03 million bed nets, 1.38 million RDTs, and 1 million doses of anti malaria drugs to all provinces.

Of the total, 1.4 million bed nets, 774,623 RDTs, and 845,000 doses of the anti malaria drugs will be sent to five provinces in eastern Indonesia: NTT, North Maluku, Maluku, Papua and West Papua. (ebf)

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