The Ministers responsible for Health and HIV and AIDS from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on 10th November, 2017 led community members and other key stakeholders in the commemoration of SADC Malaria Day which took place at Mopani village, Limpopo in the Republic of South Africa.
Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health of the Republic of South Africa was joined by other five other Ministers of Health from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Tanzania at the commemoration held under the theme: "Strong cross border collaboration is key to malaria elimination".
The commemoration was marked by several activities that included spraying mosquito pesticides to households and awareness activities on Malaria prevention and treatment to pupils at Thomo Primary School where they also provided mosquito coils.
The Malaria Day was held to highlight the plight of Malaria among communities at risk and to advocate for support from key decision makers and stakeholders for malaria control efforts in the Region.
The 2016 malaria data released by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that 212 Million cases of Malaria were reported globally, with 90% occurring in Africa. However, currently it is estimated that the number has since declined by 41% globally between 2000 and 2015 and further, by 21% between 2010 and 2015.
In the SADC region, WHO estimates that three-quarters of the population is at risk of contracting malaria, with approximately 30million being under-five children and 8.5 Million being pregnant women.
SADC has a number of Malaria initiatives. The Republic of South Africa for instance is working with Mozambique and Swaziland through the MOSASWA (Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland) Cross Border Malaria Initiative whose aim is to accelerate the transition from pre-elimination to elimination of malaria in Swaziland and South Africa, and accelerate from control to pre-elimination in southern Mozambique, in order to achieve zero local transmission in Swaziland, South Africa and Maputo province by 2020.
Other notable officials that graced the commemoration of SADC Malaria Day were Limpopo Member of the Executive Council for Health Dr. Phophi Ramathuba, WHO Representative for Botswana Office, Dr. Martins Ovberedjo and African Leaders Malaria Alliance Executive Secretary, Mrs. Joy Phumaphi and Senior Officials from the SADC Secretariat.