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Jakarta Post

[Commentary] Indonesia’s constant battle against malaria amid pandemic

  • Elly Burhaini Faizal

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 13 2020   /  01:00 am
Anopheles mosquito(Shutterstock/Somboon Bunproy)

Transmission of COVID-19 in Indonesia has continued unabated and expanded to malaria-endemic areas, especially the country’s eastern provinces, such as East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Maluku and Papua, forcing authorities there to step up vigilance to prevent a double burden of disease. Plasmodium – a parasite that causes malaria in humans – can damage the immune system, which is why malaria patients are prone to other infections, including COVID-19. Health Ministry data in April revealed an upward trend of malaria incidences in Indonesia and an increasing number of high malaria endemicity areas. It will take more time and effort to combat the vector-borne disease because the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has laid a heavy burden on the healthcare system. With all attention and resources centered on COVID-19, the question is: Can Indonesia succeed in achieving its malaria el...