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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Costa Rica Builds Strategy to Eliminate Malaria

Costa Rica strengthens its strategy to eliminate malaria in the country. The Ministry of Health and the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) joined forces with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

These institutions developed workshops in the Huetar Norte, Huetar Caribe, and Central Pacific regions to train the local teams responsible for dealing with the major malaria outbreaks.

Each workshop reinforced the participant’s capacities in the implementation of the Detection/Diagnosis and Treatment processes of the DTIR strategy (Detection/Diagnosis, Treatment, Investigation, and Response). These strategies must be replicated and executed in the local EBAIS and Hospitals.

The “Malaria Surveillance Protocol and the National Strategy for the Surveillance and Prevention of Malaria Reestablishment in Costa Rica” was recently published. The protocol and the workshops were designed to educate health personnel on the new operational definitions and processes.

“The country is making great efforts to move towards the elimination of malaria by 2025; this is thanks to the active participation in the Regional Initiative for the Elimination of Malaria (IREM), whose funds and technical support in the country are administered by the IDB and PAHO,” said the Ministry of Health.

According to data from the Health Surveillance Directorate, as of epidemiological week 34, a total of 332 cases of malaria have been reported. The Northern Huetar Region is the most affected area with 300 cases, followed by the Caribbean Huetar Region with 24 cases.

Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite of the Plasmodium sp. Genus. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of a female mosquito (Anopheles genus). It has been present in the country since the eighteenth century.

The Ministry of Health explained that this disease could cause fever, chills, headache or muscle pain, and sweating.

“It is important to visit the doctor in case of these symptoms, especially if people live in or have traveled to a high-risk malaria area, or if they have had malaria in the last three years,” the Ministry recommended.

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