Thousand Islands first malaria-free Indonesian regency
Indonesia’s Health Ministry has officially recognised the 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 told a 2013 World Malaria Day event 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 said.
Nafsiah said malaria was a major health problem in the world. Citing the World Health Malaria Report, she said that 219 million malaria cases resulting in 660,000 deaths were reported in 2012.
“In Indonesia, 417,000 malaria cases were reported in 2012, almost three quarters of these were in Papua, West Papua and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT),” Nafsiah said.
She said that the ministry’s malaria-control initiatives included launching the Forum Gebrak Malaria (Hitting Malaria Forum) in 10 provinces in 2013, increasing the number of malaria centres in eastern parts of Indonesia to 11 from the current eight and establishing 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.