Malaria focus in western Waterberg, Limpopo Province - No new cases of locally acquired malaria

22 March 2017

The north-eastern areas of Limpopo Province are the traditional malaria transmission areas in the province.  During the period 27 February - 13 March 2017, 49 malaria cases were reported  in Thabazimbi and Lephalale in the western Waterburg, Limpopo province, 14 of which were due to local transmission mostly in rural villages along the Lephalale river. The western Waterberg is historically prone to malaria during favourable transmission years. Over the last week, there have been no new cases of malaria acquired in this area but it is important to remain vigilant and to ensure that any persons with acute febrile illness be tested for malaria.

There were a number of initiatives in response to these cases by the malaria control programme in Limpopo. The community was informed of the signs and symptoms of malaria and to seek early medical attention and the health facilities in the area have  adequate supplies of malaria diagnostic tests and medication for treatment. A vector control intervention was initiated and about 200 homes mainly along the Lephalale river were sprayed with long-acting insecticides applied to indoor walls. 
During the summer rain period, September -  April malaria transmission occurs annually in the north-eastern parts of Limpopo bordering on Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Forty-two malaria teams from the Limpopo provincial department of health are fully operational in these communities with indoor residual spraying as a major control intervention. Normally, low numbers of cases are reported from Waterberg, however, it is viewed as an area with the potential for  malaria transmission. 

Every notified malaria case is fully investigated and preventative measures are introduced where appropriate. All health facilities in Limpopo are prepared to deal with increased malaria cases. PHC facilities can all test for malaria and treatment is available at this level. All hospitals also have access to the latest malaria treatment regime available.