South Africa

Elimination Target Year

Country Overview

  • 10% of the country’s population live in areas of active transmission (Total population 52.98 million)
  • South Africa has reached a stage where elimination is possible by 2020, with the province of KwaZulu Natal likely to achieve malaria elimination first. Approximately 77% of malaria cases are diagnosed in travellers from neighbouring countries each year (imported cases).
  • South Africa achieved a substantial decline in malaria cases, from 64,624 in 2000 to 5775 in 2016. During the same period, malaria-related deaths decreased from 424 to 42. Due to a long history of successful malaria control efforts, malaria transmission in South Africa is now confined to three endemic provinces (provinces where malaria is regularly found and reported) in the north and north-eastern parts of the country, namely: Kwa Zulu Natal, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga.
  • Malaria transmission in South Africa is seasonal, with most cases occurring during the rainy summer months of September through May and peaking in January and April.

Elimination Strategies Implemented

The malaria burden in South Africa varies greatly by province. Limpopo Province reports 62% of local cases, while Mpumalanga accounts for 32% and KwaZulu-Natal province 6%. Key objectives outlined in the National Malaria Elimination Strategy 2012–2018 include:

  • To strengthen passive and active surveillance, and monitoring and evaluation systems, so that 100% of districts report promptly and routinely on key malaria indicators by 2016
  • To ensure that all levels of the malaria programme have a core team to coordinate and implement elimination interventions by 2016
  • To disseminate appropriate messages so that 100% of the population has sufficient knowledge to influence their attitude and practice on malaria by 2018
  • To effectively prevent local malaria infections and eliminate parasite reservoirs in 80% of the malaria endemic districts in South Africa by 2018

Best Practices

The malaria burden in South Africa varies greatly by province. Limpopo Province reports 62% of local cases, while Mpumalanga accounts for 32% and KwaZulu-Natal province 6%. Key objectives outlined in the National Malaria Elimination Strategy 2012–2018 include:

  • To strengthen passive and active surveillance, and monitoring and evaluation systems, so that 100% of districts report promptly and routinely on key malaria indicators by 2016
  • To ensure that all levels of the malaria programme have a core team to coordinate and implement elimination interventions by 2016
  • To disseminate appropriate messages so that 100% of the population has sufficient knowledge to influence their attitude and practice on malaria by 2018
  • To effectively prevent local malaria infections and eliminate parasite reservoirs in 80% of the malaria endemic districts in South Africa by 2018

Best Practices

  • Malaria is a category 1 notifiable medical condition thus must be reported/notified within 24 hours of diagnosis. South Africa has harnessed the power of mobile technology and developed Malaria Connect, a mobile phone data collection system which is used to ensure notification within 24 hours to enable prompt response and follow-up by the Malaria Control Programme.
  • The Government of the Republic of South Africa, in 2018, committed over 300 million Rands towards the fight against malaria within and across its borders.