Health authorities have revealed that Botswana has been able to reduce the Malaria prevalence by 40 percent over the past 10 years.
This was revealed by Chebukani Nkobodo from the ministry of health during a Vector Control Review and Planning exercise held in Maun recently to assess the effectiveness of the interventions across the districts in the country’s journey to eliminate Malaria by 2025.
This is after the country had made remarkable strides of reducing the cases from 28.7/1000 population in 2001 to 0.30/1000 population in 2022. “The 5-day exercise was intended to reflect on the 5 years (2018 -2023) vector control interventions across all the levels and how they connected with other thematic areas in the Malaria National Programme,” Nkobodo noted.
She further revealed that the ministry has to date recorded 560 cases of Malaria and four malaria related deaths countrywide since January 1st 2023 to date.
Nkobodo explained that the indoor residual spraying (IRS) and Long Lasting Insecticide treated Nets (LLINs) remain major malaria prevention measures that are very effective for community protection.
She however decried the low uptake of these interventions from members of the public noting that some are not willing to open their doors for spraying.
Nkobodo further indicated that the findings and report of the planning exercise will feed into the upcoming Malaria Programme Review meeting planned for Francistown.
“Some of the objectives of the review is to reflect on the challenges, harness the successes and sharpen recommendations towards Malaria elimination from all transmission applications in order to undertake a vector control SWOT analysis of the past 4 years as well as to produce a vector control review workshop report to feed onto a comprehensive Malaria program review in July,” she said.
Meanwhile Nkodobo has indicated that the country has in the past 4 years made tremendous progress to reach their set target revealing that they are currently standing at 85%. According to her, Botswana is one of the few countries worldwide and in Africa that have been earmarked for Malaria elimination by the World Health Organization.
Nkodobo stressed that the plan is to report a zero malaria Botswana, and added this can only be achieved through prevention measures.
“Also this winter is warmer according to the meteorology department therefore malaria transmitting mosquitos may still be there, so they should continue to be alert and go to the nearest health facility if they suspect malaria signs and symptoms,” she said.