S. Africa marks World Malaria Day with pledge to eliminate malaria by 2023

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-26 04:09:30|Editor: yan
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CAPE TOWN, April 25 (Xinhua) -- South Africa on Thursday marked the World Malaria Day with a pledge to end the scourge by 2023.

With a 73-percent decrease in the number of Malaria cases between 2000 and 2018, South Africa is on its way to achieve the target of getting rid of malaria within its borders by 2023, the National Department of Heath said.

Highlighting the progress in fighting malaria, the department said South Africa had about 64,000 diagnosed cases of Malaria in 2000, but in 2018 the number decreased to just over 17,000.

As for deaths related to malaria, the number decreased by 74 percent between 2000 and 2018, according to the department.

The World Malaria Day falls on April 25. This year's event is themed "Zero malaria death starts with me."

Statistics from South Africa's National Department of Health show that 91 percent of malaria cases globally occur in Africa.

According to the World Health Organization, there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria in 87 countries in 2017 alone.

In South Africa, malaria is confined to the very far north of KwaZulu-Natal Province, low-veld areas of Mpumalanga Province and north eastern parts of Limpopo Province.

The goal of eliminating malaria by 2023 may prove to be challenging, given the complexity of the transmission of malaria and the changing biological nature of vector mosquitoes, the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said.

The NICD, however, said its continued surveillance and research have led to a better understanding of the country's current preparedness toward meeting the elimination targets.

The life-threatening disease, transmitted to people through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes, is preventable, treatable and curable.

Symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, sweating, body pains, headache and extreme tiredness, which appear within 10-15 days after the infected mosquito bite.