Malaria cases decline in Limpopo

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pretoria – There has been a decline in malaria cases in Limpopo with 848 cases notified during the period of April 2012 to February 2013, compared to 2 991 malaria cases notified during the previous year.

The provincial Department of Health and Social Development said on Monday that January to March was normally the period when malaria cases increased sharply in Limpopo, mainly due to travel during the festive period and the rainy season.

“However, this year, malaria cases remained at lower levels, even though Limpopo experienced severe flooding during January. For January and February 2013, 307 malaria cases were notified, compared to 1,189 in 2012,” the department said.

However, it warned that although malaria cases were at lower levels, the potential always existed for focal increases to occur during the summer.

In order to detect these and manage possible outbreaks, the department said it had sensitive surveillance systems in place.

“Malaria control spray teams are also active throughout the province and can respond to increases quickly. Due to the fact that Limpopo is a known malaria prone province, the provincial Department of Health is fully prepared to deal with all malaria cases.

“All primary health care clinics are fully equipped to deal with malaria patients at community level, with malaria tests and treatment available at all clinics. All hospitals are also prepared to deal with more severe malaria cases.”

Furthermore, the department’s main malaria control intervention, namely indoor residual spraying, is also actively busy conducting spraying in all the affected areas by malaria spray teams.

Over the past five months, more than 700 000 structures have been sprayed in the malaria risk areas. Teams are still busy conducting spraying in affected communities and to raise the awareness to malaria in these communities. –