Head of the Mimika Health Office Reynold Ubra said here Sunday that anticipatory measures regarding malaria containment leading to the PON XX have been carried out since last year. The authorities conduct surveys against mosquito larvae and mass blood surveys (MBS), and distribute mosquito nets.
The Mimika Health Office has also carried out Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in the accommodations where the PON XX participants are staying, in order to prevent Anopheles mosquitos, also often referred to as the malaria mosquitos.
"The IRS fogging had been done two months prior (to the event). As for hotels, we express our appreciation to those who have carried it out independently," he said.
Furthermore, all PON participants were tested for malaria and were given directions regarding the disease, including prevention and mitigation measures.
"Out of over 500 specimens that we had tested, there were three specimens in which malaria cases were found. This means that the rate is under one percent. Two of these cases were athletes from endemic zones, one of which was Mimika," Ubra said.
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Aside from during the Papua PON period, surveillance is also done by the Mimika Health Office for three months after participants leave the area.
"Following the malaria inspections, we will carry out migration surveys, where we keep an eye on participants up until three months after they return to their hometowns," he added.
Should there be athletes who experience symptoms of malaria, they will be referred to the local health office or public health centers (Puskesmas).
The local health authorities, he continued, will trace them back to endemic areas and they will get in touch with the Mimika health office.
The Papua PON XX had officially been opened by President Joko Widodo, and is scheduled to take place until October 15. Featuring 37 events, the competitions take place in Jayapura City, and the districts of Jayapura, Mimika, and Merauke.
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