South Africa: Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba is making a call to citizens and holiday makers to be cautious against malaria during this summer rainy season.
Certain parts of the province, particularly Vhembe District, Mopani District and Kruger National Park, are defined as malaria transmission areas, with the risk of contracting malaria in the summer rainy season.
The Department has, throughout the year, embarked on an ongoing indoor residual spraying programme to prevent the transmission of malaria in the communities.
More than 1 million households are sprayed each year as a strategy to fight malaria in the province. During the 2017/18 financial year, the province experienced a severe malaria outbreak, with 18,977 cases notified, with 160.
Ever since, the province has seen a decline in cases & deaths as follows:
- 2018/19, 6665 cases & 34 deaths,
- 2019/20, 3517 cases & 22 deaths,
- 2020/21 3461 cases & 19 deaths,
- 2021/22 1052 cases and 15 deaths.
This has mostly been achieved through the ongoing indoor residual spraying programme.
Malaria disease is transmitted through the bite of the female anopheles mosquito, and like any other mosquito, it breeds in water. The males do not transmit the disease as they feed only on plant juices.
Malaria presents with symptoms of headache, body pains, and fever and is a treatable medical condition if it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
“We advise everyone to be cautious of malaria transmission during this summer rainy season. People who will be visiting malaria risk areas of our province are advised to take precautionary measures to prevent them from contracting malaria. If you have visited a malaria risk area and develop malaria-like symptoms, which are headache, body pains and fever, do visit our nearest health facility for a malaria test to be conducted. Let’s apply insect repellent to exposed skin, burn mosquito coils in living and sleeping areas during the night, wear long-sleeved clothing and switch on ceiling fans and air conditioners as ways to repel mosquitoes”, said MEC Ramathuba.