Provincial department of health spokesperson, Sinenhlanhla Gumede. Picture: Montsho Matlala
The provincial department of health has released information indicating malaria is on the decline in the province.
During the period from April 2012 to February this year, 848 malaria cases were reported compared to 2991 cases notified in the previous period, according to the departmental spokesperson, Sinenhlanhla Gumede.
“This year however, malaria cases remained at a lower level, even though Limpopo experienced severe flooding during January,” Gumede said.
“For January and February this year, 307 cases were notified compared to 1189 cases last year.”
The department said however it was still on high alert for possible outbreaks despite lower malaria levels because the province is known to be malaria prone.
All hospitals and clinics are fully equipped to deal with the disease which is spread by female mosquitoes.
Tests for the disease as well as beds for more severe cases are available in health institutions, the department said.
“In order to detect possible outbreaks, the department has sensitive malaria surveillance systems in place.
“Control spray teams are also active throughout the province and can respond quickly.
“The teams are also raising awareness campaigns in the affected communities,” said the departmental spokesperson.
Over the past five months more than 700000 structures have been sprayed in the malaria risk areas, the department indicated.
Eliminating malaria in the country is a priority for the South African government.
In January President Jacob Zuma told the AU summit that the country would reach this goal by 2018.
He was speaking after receiving an award for SA’s determination in the fight against malaria.