(Photo: Genetic Literacy Project/VNA)
 
Jakarta (VNA) - Indonesia's tourist island of Lombok has declared a health emergency following a surge in malaria case after a series of earthquakes last month.

Rahman Sahnan Putra, head of the West Lombok Health Agency, said 128 people, including women and children, have been to date found to be infected with malaria.

The local authorities are seeking 3.4 billion rupiah (230,000 USD) from the central and regional governments to purchase mosquito nets and test kits, and assist emergency response efforts, he added.

Marjito, head of the health agency of West Nusa Tenggara, said those who tested positive for the disease are treated, counselled and their surroundings sprayed with disinfectant.

He added many of the infected had been living in tents after the quakes and did not get proper rest, making them more vulnerable.

According to Marjito, authorities are mapping areas where malaria is endemic and planned to distribute thousands of mosquito nets as a preventive measure.

However, health workers fear efforts to rein in the disease will be complicated as the rainy season comes next month.

The quakes and aftershocks that killed nearly 500 people are estimated to have caused damages of 5 trillion rupiah (337.84 million USD) to hospitals and public infrastructure, among other buildings, on Lombok island, West Nusa Tenggara province.-VNA