South African Department of Health and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM)
released a new report, the RBM Progress and Impact Series – Focus on South
Africa. The report documents South Africa’s decades-long, successful fight
against malaria and highlights SA’s leading role in the goal to eradicate this
disease, which claims over 600 000 lives globally every year. SA’s sustained and
dedicated action has greatly contributed to the country meeting the sixth
Millennium Development Goal (MDG 6), which calls on countries to reverse the
incidence of malaria. Over the period 2000-2012, malaria morbidity and
mortality declined by a remarkable 89% and 85% respectively from 64 500 cases
to 6 847 cases and from 460 deaths to 70 deaths.
Long and proud track record
Africa has a long and proud track record fighting this disease,” commented
Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.
“We are proud to showcase our local expertise and scientific
advancements in the Roll Back Malaria Progress and Impact Series. Thanks to our
community of world-class scientists and the government’s sustained investment
in malaria control, South Africa is now well on its way being a malaria free
country,” said Dr Motsoaledi.
of malaria has declined in recent years thanks to substantial increases in
donor aid through both bilateral programs such as the US President’s Malaria Program, and multilateral
initiatives such as the Global Fund. “The important message we should derive
from the Focus on South Africa report,” said RBM Executive Director, Dr
Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, “is that it is crucial to maintain our investment in
malaria control and treatment. Without continuing and ever increasing funding
for our global programmes, we will lose ground against malaria.”
foundations of South Africa’s malaria programme have been the judicious use of
insecticides to control malaria carrying mosquitoes (known as vector control)
and the use of highly effective anti-malarial medications, in conjunction with
proper diagnosis, to clear the malaria parasites from infected individuals.
Eliminating malaria from SA
on the report, Director of the National Malaria Program, Dr Devanand Moonasar
said, "South Africa has been fortunate in that the government has fully funded
our national malaria control policy. We have also been fortunate in securing partnerships
with key stakeholders such as Roll Back Malaria, who ensure that results that
we have achieved are widely disseminated through publications such as the
Progress and Impact Series."
the former Minister of Health, the late Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang set a goal
of eliminating malaria from South Africa. Thanks to its progress against the
disease and the country’s collaboration with its SADC partners, South Africa is
now well positioned to achieve its goal of malaria elimination by 2018.