South Africa joins the world in commemorating the World Malaria Day
25 Apr 2012
South Africa joins the global community in commemorating World Malaria Day on 25 April 2012. South Africa has made significant strides in reducing malaria morbidity and mortality and has adopted an elimination programme to reduce local transmission of malaria to zero cases by the year 2018.
This year’s World Malaria Day theme, Sustain Gains, Save Lives, Invest in Malaria, speaks to the progress made on malaria control in Sub-Saharan Africa and around the World. This theme also encourages countries and donors to maintain the gains made over the last decade, during which malaria death rates in Africa alone dropped by one-third.
It is vital that efforts are sustained and expanded through increased national political will, technical and financial investment for malaria elimination, and collaboration with neighbouring malaria endemic countries to reduce the risk of imported malaria into South Africa.
South Africa has made steady progress in controlling malaria between the year 2000 and 2011, when the number of malaria cases in South Africa decreased by 85% (from 64 622 cases to 9 866) and the number of malaria deaths decreased by 81% (from 458 to 89). These achievements were in large part due to changes in prevention and treatment policies, ensuring that the most effective insecticides and combination anti-malaria treatment were implemented to prevent and treat malaria infections. As the burden of malaria in South Africa continues to decline, the risk of imported malaria by travellers and migrant workers from malaria endemic countries will be South Africa’s major challenge to elimination.
To sustain the fight against malaria, the National Department of Health urges all South Africans and travellers to take measures to protect themselves against malaria. Important preventative measures include: allowing malaria control officials to spray homes during the malaria season in malaria endemic provinces and taking prophylaxis and using repellents when traveling to malaria-affected areas.
The common symptoms of malaria include fever, shivering, headache, body pains, and weakness. It is critical to seek medical attention and test for malaria when experiencing any of these symptoms.
Issued by: Department of Health
25 Apr 2012
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