SA authorities aim to eliminate malaria cases by 2018

Malaria is seasonal in the country and occurs in certain areas in Limpopo, KZN & Mpumalanga.

Picture: Freeimages.

JOHANNESBURG - As today marks World Malaria Day, the national Health Department says it wants to reduce the number of locally transmitted cases of the disease in South Africa to zero by 2018.

Malaria is seasonal in the country and occurs in certain areas in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

It accounts for 40 percent of all public health spending in Africa, killing up to 438,000 people each year, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) World Malaria Report for 2015 states that there has been a major decline in global malaria cases and deaths since the year 2000, with the mortality rate decreasing by 60 percent.

It says therefore, 62 million lives were saved and 57 countries reduced malaria cases by at least 75 percent between 2000 and last year.

The Health Department's Dr Devanand Moonasar says reaching zero percent local transmission in South Africa is possible.

"If we look at the figures that we reported in 2000, it was about 64,000 cases. Now South Africa's cases is in the region of about 8,000 cases."

The global theme for the day is "End Malaria for Good".