The Limpopo Department of Health has advised communities to take precautionary measures as Malaria cases start to rise in the Province. Limpopo has seen a surge in the number of cases which rose to 1423 and two deaths during the past four weeks.
The numbers are high compared to the previous years. For instance, in the 2022/2023 financial year, annual figures stood at 1745.
MALARIA CASES ON THE RISE
“The current surge is attributed to favourable weather conditions for mosquito breeding. The traveling season during the Easter holidays which saw people traveling even to the malaria-endemic endemic areas in the region,” said the department in a statement.
The surge in the province is reported mainly in the malaria epidemic prone areas. That is Vhembe [Northern and eastern Lowveld areas] and the eastern part of the Mopani region. Of these cases, 820 were reported from Vhembe and 423 from Mopani.
Donald Fraser, Malamulele, Tshilidzini, Letaba, Maphuta Malatji Hospitals, Nkhensani hospitals and the clinics within the feeder areas of these hospitals are reporting the majority of the cases.
“However, the department wishes to warn community members in other areas to be on alert,” they said.
“Malaria is a treatable condition when discovered early. Community members are advised to visit their nearest healthcare facilities as soon as they suspect that they could have contracted the disease.
“Symptoms include fever and flu-like symptoms such as shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur in some cases,”
So far, over a million households have been reached through the department’s indoor residual spraying campaign. Surveillance teams are currently investigating all notified cases at the community level. It involves contact tracing and awareness related to prevention and early treatment seeking behaviour.