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Thursday, 26 January 2023 10:56

South Africa bags global WHO award for malaria elimination.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

South Africa is among the first recipients of a Word Health Organisation (WHO) award that recognises countries which have eliminated the disease.

China and El Salvador were also among the countries that walked away with awards at a ceremony in Cape Town.

"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.

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."

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.