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Close to 700 malaria cases recorded

BABOKI KAYAWE
Halabi says non-malaria endemic areas have been affected
The country is experiencing an upsurge of malaria cases, health officials have said. Six hundred and seventy (672) new cases have been recorded countrywide subsequent to the recent downpours, 60% of which were registered in the Okavango area, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Shenaaz el-Halabi confirmed.

There has been an increase in the number of cases in malaria-prone areas, namely Okavango, Ngami, Chobe, Boteti, Tutume and Bobirwa.

“Cases of the disease have also been reported in areas that do not usually have malaria and these include North East, Serowe, Palapye, Mahalapye, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Kgalagadi South and Gantsi,” Halabi said. 

High-level teams were yesterday dispatched to the north and south of the country to fight against the outbreak. El-Halabi added the four person teams are meant to augment those that are already on the ground.

The public has been urged to take preventative measures such as clearing up bushes, draining stagnant water and disposing of objects likely to collect water such as tins and old tyres.

“The public is advised to seek medical advice two weeks before travelling to malaria-prone countries to always sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nests

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while in malaria endemic areas,” Halabi advised.

The Ministry has committed to continue monitoring the situation and all public health facilities are reported to be on high alert to provide the necessary service for the management of suspected malaria cases.

Meanwhile, the SADC Elimination 8 (E8) Partnership Malaria Campaign yesterday donated vehicles to Botswana to increase malaria surveillance and accelerate progress towards zero malaria transmission within Botswana boarders.

The E8 initiative was initiated in 2008, following the African Union‘s decision to launch the Africa Malaria Elimination Campaign, committing to transition eligible countries from malaria control to elimination a year earlier at the Conference of Ministers of Health.

SADC Ministers of Health approved the SADC Malaria Elimination Strategic Framework and a subsequent Framework, urging member states to identify potential areas for elimination and to develop National Malaria Elimination Strategic Plans.



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