SADC strives for zero malaria deaths

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pretoria - Health Ministers from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) will commemorate this year's SADC Malaria Day by declaring their renewed commitment to act against malaria towards zero malaria deaths by 2015.

On Friday, the ministers will be celebrating the SADC Malaria Day at Bungeni Sports Grounds in Limpopo, where they will vow to free the region from malaria.

During the event, the SADC Health Ministers, led by South African Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, will take part in an indoor residual spraying to deter mosquitoes at Bungeni Village near Elim.

Malaria testing will also take place at the local health centre.

Limpopo Health MEC Dikeledi Magadzi stressed that reducing the impact and deaths as a result of malaria was key to the Millennium Development Goals on health.

"The commemoration of the SADC Malaria day gives us an opportunity to assess the progress we made to roll back malaria while at the same time it heralds our renewed commitment to act against malaria towards zero malaria deaths by 2015," Magadzi said on Thursday.

During the 2010/11 season the Limpopo Health Department sprayed more than 946 000 structures and all facilities in the province are fully equipped to test for Malaria, using Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test.

South Africa has maintained a rigorous malaria control program for decades, based on indoor spraying with long-lasting insecticides, the control of mosquito breeding sites and the provision of the most effective drug therapies.

The combination of these interventions has ensured that malaria cases are almost at all time lows in the country.

In 2000, the Ministers of Health took a decision to commemorate SADC Malaria Week in the month of November which marks the beginning of the malaria transmission season.

The theme for this year's campaign is "Be Free of Malaria in the SADC Region, Know your Malaria Symptoms, Go for Testing and Treatment".