Davao del Norte, October 24, 2014 – The Department of Health has declared the Province of Davao del Norte as free from Filariasis.
Dr. Abdullah Dumama, Jr., regional director of the Department of Health 11 made the declaration in a ceremony at the Bulwagan ng Lalawigan attended by local officials, health officials, workers and other stakeholders.
Dr. Mario Baquilod, Director III of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control said the achievement has shown that filarial disease is nothing against a community of leaders, advocates and stakeholders who gave their all our support to the public health program.
As he put it, the feat means more opportunities for growth and development in the province since Filariasis will no longer pose a problem.
“This is a victory won not only for those who suffered before us, but more importantly for our children and their future,” he said.
The health official also turned over to the province the performance-based grant in the amount of P1 million for the sustainability of the Filariasis elimination program in Davao del Norte.
Davao del Norte is the second province in the Davao Region to be declared by the DOH as a Filariasis-free province, after the province of Compostela Valley that was declared as free from the parasitic disease in 2011.
Lymphatic Filariasis is a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes that primarily affect poor people living in the remote and rural areas.
The program to eliminate the disease in the province started in 2003, with over 3000 patients undergoing mass drug administration, particularly involving the distribution of albendazole and diethylcarbamazine (DEC).
Governor Rodolfo del Rosario cited the years of hard work, perseverance and commitment of the health officials and workers in implementing the program despite the many hurdles they faced in the mass treatment.
In a message read by Vice Gov. Victorio Suaybaguio, Jr., the governor said the achievement is a testament to the provincial government’s thrust of providing better health services to the people, in line with his administration’s human-centered thrust known as the P.E.O.P.L.E. agenda.
He assured the province’s commitment in maintaining the program “to ensure the sustainability of our position as a Filiaria-free province.” noel baguio/davnor pio