The Ministry of Public Health, through the Center for the Prevention and Control of Diseases Transmitted by Vectors and Zoonoses (CECOVEZ), received 12 optical microscopes, which contribute to guarantee an accurate diagnosis and offer an effective follow-up, as a mechanism to strengthen the national strategic response against malaria.
The new equipment corresponds to a contribution made by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which also guarantees early and effective treatment of this disease, thanks to the strengthening of the National Laboratory Network.
At the delivery ceremony, Dr. Yocastia de Jesús, Director of the Vice-Ministry of Collective Health, highlighted the importance of a timely and high quality diagnosis of malaria, which translates into crucial contributions to the efforts to control and eliminate this disease in the country.
“With the delivery of this equipment, we continue to improve access to these services, especially the microscopic diagnosis, which is considered the gold standard test for the detection of the parasite, as it allows for differential diagnosis of other entities and avoids the use of antimalarial drugs, making an assessment of other parameters, such as parasite density and the type of microorganism,” he said.
However, he indicated that “despite the fact that we are in a dengue outbreak, we cannot neglect the rest of the febrile diseases, such as malaria. For this reason, the Ministry is joining efforts to strengthen the strategy of prevention and timely detection”.
Dr. José Luis Cruz, director of CECOVEZ, said that these new and advanced optical microscopes will be distributed in the clinical laboratories of health centers in priority areas at risk of malaria.
He thanked the Inter-American Development Bank for this contribution which “translates into advances in the provision of high quality diagnostic services, mainly for people in areas at risk and at risk of malaria, which guarantees timely and effective treatment of the disease, contributing to our ultimate goal of making our territory free of malaria”.
Yoanys Arias, from the Directorate of Clinical Laboratories and Imaging of the National Health Service (SNS), agreed that the new equipment contributes to the country’s goal of eradicating malaria.
Meanwhile, José Ramón Valdez, representative of the Inter-American Development Bank, spoke about the support offered to the country in the development of malaria diagnostic capabilities.
“The country is advancing by leaps and bounds and this is proof of that; this delivery is very significant, since this is the basis for protocols, regulations and capacity building,” he said.
Among the prioritized health centers where the modern equipment will be placed are: Julia Santana Hospital, in Tamayo; Leopoldo Martínez Hospital, in Hato Mayor; Santo Socorro Maternity and Children’s Hospital, in the National District; Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia General Specialties Hospital, in Higüey; Ángel Ponce, in San Pedro de Macorís; San Bartolomé, in Neiba; Imbert, in Puerto Plata, among others.