Pretoria – Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko has called on community members, especially people who recently travelled to and from malaria endemic areas to seek medical treatment if they experience malaria related symptoms which includes fever, chills, headache, and other flu like symptoms.
MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko made the remarks as part of the observation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Malaria Day, which is observed annually on November 6, to create awareness about malaria and to mobilise communities to participate in malaria control programmes.
“With the festive season fast approaching, we encourage people who will be travelling to and from malaria endemic areas to take prophylaxis before their visit. Complicated malaria cases and deaths are caused by malaria infected patients who delay seeking medical help from the health facility and only visit the health centres when malaria disease has progressed from mild to complicated malaria,” said Nkomo-Ralehoko.
She said, while malaria is a preventable and treatable disease “from which no one should die, especially if diagnosed and treated early” more than 1 000 people have been killed by malaria in Gauteng since January.
“It remains worrying that from January to September 2022 Gauteng as a province, recorded 1 103 cases with 11 deaths. Most of malaria cases recorded in the province are from Mozambique followed by Malawi, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. For every person who dies it is one death too many, therefore, we are working with multiple stakeholders including the tourism and transport sectors to fight this disease,” Nkomo-Ralehoko said.
Gauteng as a province, is commemorating the SADC Malaria Day from the November 6 to 11, by scaling up awareness and educating the public about malaria prevention, symptoms, and treatment throughout the province, with a specific focus on transport nodes, multimedia platforms, and door-to-door campaigns.