Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry has asked regional governments in Papua to expedite the eradication of malaria cases by collaborating with cross-sectoral institutions.

"This year, South Sorong District in Southwest Papua Province has succeeded in becoming the first area to eliminate malaria in Papua region," said Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, the ministry's Director General of Disease Prevention and Control (P2P), in Jakarta on Wednesday.

He expects more districts and cities to follow South Sorong District's success in the coming years.

According to the ministry's data, there were five districts in Papua region with the highest number of malaria cases in 2022:
  • Mimika District in Central Papua Province (77,379 cases)
  • Jayapura City in Papua Province (27,436 cases)
  • Jayapura District in Papua Province (17,676 cases)
  • Yahukimo District in Highland Papua Province (12,099 cases)
  • Keerom District in Papua Province (10,804 cases)
Rondonuwu said that regional governments could reduce the number of malaria cases by increasing community surveillance, involving analysts, midwives, and doctors.

Regional governments are also encouraged to conduct mass blood surveys (MBS) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) in areas with high malaria prevalence, as well as establish malaria monitoring cadres.

The Health Ministry also encourages community involvement in conducting studies on malaria cases in their environment.

Rondonuwu noted that the number of malaria cases in Indonesia is increasing year-on-year.

Apart from Papua, Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) are other provinces in eastern Indonesia that have also recorded high numbers of malaria cases.

"Almost 89 percent of malaria cases occur in these (eastern) regions. The contribution of local governments and cross-sectoral institutions is required to accelerate malaria elimination," he stated.

He expressed hope that the number of malaria cases in Indonesia can be reduced, especially in the eastern regions.

Regional Secretary of South Sorong District Dance Nauw in May stated that malaria eradication attempts had been made by the local government since 2009.

He said that his government had disbursed 87,480 mosquito nets to the community during the 2009-2014 period, established surveillance teams, and provided training for skilled workers to monitor the development of malaria cases in the region.

"During the period from 2009 to 2022, the highest prevalence of malaria occurred in the 2012-2013 period, reaching eight thousand cases. The number began to decrease from 2016 to 2022. There were only 21 cases in 2022," he stated.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Uyu Liman
Editor: Anton Santoso
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