South Africa is among the countries that received global awards from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for their efforts to achieve an important milestone towards malaria elimination.
“This is the first time they have given the awards outside the countries that have achieved elimination,” the Department of Health’s statement read on Wednesday.
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Other countries, according to the department, which walked away with prestigious awards during the fourth Annual Global Forum of Malaria-Eliminating Countries, currently taking place in Cape Town, include China and El Salvador for achieving malaria-free status.
The South African government has once again reiterated its commitment to eliminating malaria and as such a solid investment case was developed and received through a conditional grant.
In addition, the department said the country has put resources and strategies to good use and insured that its programmes were capacitated to eliminate malaria.
“The implementation of these strategies was not deployed in silos but in collaboration with supporting partners.”
This award, according to the department, could not be possible without combined efforts from research institutions, sister departments and malaria elimination partners such as the Elimination 8 and MOSASWA-LSDI2.
“The South African government is working to eliminate malaria.”
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Malaria, a disease caused by a plasmodium parasite and transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes, is a preventable and curable disease. However, if not diagnosed and treated early, it can also be fatal.
The department said eradicating the disease involves a systematic process of developing strategies and ensuring their robust implementation.