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Education, One of the Most Important Factors to Malaria Elimination

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Unicef Goodwill Ambassador Yvonne Chakachaka and Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba have taken the campaign against malaria to Dzumeri village near Giyani.

The aim of the campaign is to educate the community and strengthen health care in the village, which is one of the areas where cases of malaria have been reported.

Areas in the Mopani District have recorded high numbers of cases of malaria.

Regions in the Limpopo province, especially those lying towards the north and bordering SADC countries, have recorded higher than usual cases of malaria this year as compared to previous years.

In the past three weeks, clinics and hospitals around areas such as Giyani, Phalaborwa and some parts of the Waterberg, have tested and confirmed cases of malaria.

About 2800 people have tested positive in the past three weeks.

Phillip Kruger, who's a malaria expert, says cases have a potential to increase due to the changing climate.

Kruger adds that people who have recently travelled to neighbouring countries need to get screened for the disease.

“This year, we had higher rainfalls in the region and they all contributed to major epidemics in Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique,  all the countries right around Limpopo reported major epidemics. The latest figures we have received from SADC is that Mozambique reported more than 3 million cases in the past two months, now all those contributed to higher levels of transmissions in Limpopo because we are not an island; we are next to these countries ... people move around.”

Chakachaka says it is important to educate communities about ways to prevent and treat Malaria 

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Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba says a few people who contracted the disease, have died from related complications.

She says figures of the number of people who died cannot be made public yet.

However, the figure is only released publicly in a form of a percent.

Ramathuba explains, “While we are at 1% death rate, which is within the norm, for us as the health department, one death as a result of malaria is one too many. The reason I am saying this, it means we have failed the first stage of preventing malaria through spraying. Secondly, with the cases we are receiving of the patients that died ,we have gone into every file to be analyzed by our physician, senior physician.”

The area of Dzumeri in Giyani is one of the areas where cases of malaria have been reported.

This is one of the affected areas where the Health Department and Unicef plan to intensify malaria combating efforts.

Chakachaka paid a visit to a local school in the village, where she conducted an awareness campaign alongside the health department.  

Chakachaka says it is important to educate communities about ways to prevent and treat malaria.

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