Balikpapan, East Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry affirmed that malaria had been eliminated in the provinces of Jakarta, Bali, Banten, East Java, and West Java.

"We expect all stakeholders, particularly the leaderships -- heads of districts, mayors, and governors -- to tap into the potential and (collaborate) across sectors to create an area free of malaria," Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, the director general of disease prevention and control at the ministry, said.

Rondonuwu made the statement on the occasion of 2023 World Malaria Day observed at the Nusantara City Point Zero, Sepaku, North Penajam Paser, East Kalimantan, on Thursday.

Generally, the rate of malaria transmission in Indonesia is still high, particularly in the eastern areas. Some 80 percent of the malaria incidents are from the eastern provinces, he elaborated.

The central government is committed to reducing the spread of malaria, as per the sustainable development goals, in order to make every country free from the disease by 2030, Rondonuwu remarked.

"What about Indonesia? I saw do not wait until 2030, and we commend East Kalimantan's commitment to eliminate by 2026. This is a great, very rational spirit, because there are only four districts left," he affirmed.

At the event, which brought up theme of "Investment, Innovation, and Implementation to achieve Malaria-Free Indonesia," five governors and 30 heads of districts and mayors, whose areas were qualified as malaria-free by the Health Ministry, were awarded certificates, he remarked.

He stated that Nusantara was chosen to host World Malaria Day in order to rouse the spirit to make Indonesia malaria-free.

"In the 2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan target, there are 405 districts and cities where (malaria) must be eliminated, and the rest will be outlined in the next National Medium-Term Development Plan. To date, (malaria has been) eradicated in 381 districts and cities, and the target for 2024 has all been done," he remarked.

Head of the East Kalimantan Health Office Jaya Mualimin noted that malaria has spread and claimed several lives, thereby impacting millions globally.

"Today, I am very happy to witness a historical moment, i.e., the rewarding of malaria elimination certificates by the Health Ministry, as an acknowledgement of the efforts and hard work put in by the East Kalimantan people to combat malaria," he stated.

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Translator: Arumanto, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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