Indonesia plans to eliminate malaria on Java by 2015

The Indonesian government has announced a plan to eradicate malaria from the island of Java by 2015, even though the disease continues to spread through parts of the island.

Tjandra Yoga Aditama, the director general of disease control and environmental health for the Health Ministry, said that the varied geography of the country makes it difficult to eliminate the breeding ground of mosquitoes, the Jakarta Globe reports. He said that the country has been experiencing a malaria decline due to higher awareness and early detection.

"The number of malaria cases in Java has declined sharply, though there are isolated surges, such as in Kulon Progo district [in Yogyakarta] right now," Aditama said, according to the Jakarta Globe. "Elsewhere in the country, the mortality rate from malaria is also declining, so we're optimistic that we can reach our target."

Aditama said the ministry plans to eradicate the disease from Sulawesi and Kalimantan by 2020 and from eastern Indonesia by 2030. Despite the plans, the disease continues to rage in outbreaks in various parts of the country.

"That's why all our programs, from dealing with the disease to dealing with environmental factors, must run simultaneously," Aditama said, according to the Jakarta Globe.

According to the Indonesia Malaria Care Foundation, 107 million Indonesians live in malaria-endemic zones. Approximately 1.5 million cases of the disease are detected nationwide each year.