South Africa strives to eliminate malaria

Anopheles mosquito dangerous vehicle of a malaria infection.
An anopheles mosquito dangerous vehicle of a malaria infection. (Getty Images)

With over 700 malaria deaths recorded over the past five years in South Africa, the health department said it was working hard to eliminate the disease.

South Africa joined other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries to mark malaria day on Friday under the theme “Community Involvement is Key to Achieving Zero Malaria”.

South Africa has managed to reduce malaria cases by 78 percent in the last nine years. The concern was that most cases were still being imported.

“The key challenge that South Africa faces is a high number of imported cases from travellers and workers entering the country from neighboring high burden malaria endemic countries,” said Health department’s spokesman Popo Maja.

Maja warmed citizens that the disease was life threatening, saying children under five, pregnant women and people with compromised immune system were at high risk of contracting it.

“The department is urging communities that are affected by malaria and travellers to malaria endemic areas to take the necessary precautions to prevent contracting the disease and seeking treatment when they experience signs and symptoms,” Maja said.

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