The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Malaria Elimination 8 Ambassador, Dr Richard Kamwi says Botswana has recorded the lowest malaria deaths in SADC and the African Union.
Speaking at the Elimination 8 and Ministry of Health and Wellness vehicle handing over ceremony on Tuesday, Kamwi said Botswana and Swaziland had the lowest malaria cases in SADC. He said the two countries had in 2016 recorded only five deaths caused by malaria, “which was very commendable”.
“Botswana has reduced malaria caseloads by 40 to 70 percent in 2010 to 2015 respectively. Her incidence was 0.15 per 1,000 population respectively, the lowest of the Elimination 8 countries. I would therefore commend the Government of this country for its effort to eliminate malaria and provide its people with good health facilities. There is no way of winning or eradicating malaria without good facilities,” he said.
He further explained that Elimination 8 was supported by a grant. He said they were given US$18 million of which they used some of it to buy the five cars they donated to the country to help the Minister and her Ministry fight malaria. The five 4X4 Ford Ranger vehicles donated costa whooping $122,000.
For her part, the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dorcus Makgato said the country was recognised as a frontrunner for the position of first country to eliminate malaria in that E8 partnership.
“In the last two years we have received awards of excellence from the African Leaders Malaria Alliance for our achievement in reducing malaria. Several countries in our region are unfortunately experiencing increases in malaria compared to previous years due to the uncharacteristic rains which we have experienced,” he said. She added that Botswana signed onto the SADC Elimination 8 framework agreement that provides a platform for joint collaborations towards malaria elimination because the disease does not know boundaries.
Makgato further explained that the vehicles will enhance their capacity for scaling up access to malaria services and improving case management outcomes in their boarded areas, which was a key to their elimination strategy.