Successfully controlling malaria in South Africa
Following major successes in malaria control over the past 75 years, South Africa is now embarking on a malaria elimination campaign with the goal of zero local transmission by the year 2018. The key control elements have been intensive vector control, primarily through indoor residual spraying, case management based on parasitological diagnosis using evidence-based drug policies with artemisinin-based combination therapy since 2001, active health promotion in partnership with communities living in the malaria transmission areas, and cross-border collaborations. Political commitment and long-term funding for the malaria control programme have been a critical component of the programme’s success. Breaking the cycle of transmission through strengthening of active surveillance using sensitive molecular tests and field treatment of asymptomatic persons, monitoring for antimalarial drug resistance and insecticide resistance, strengthening cross-border initiatives, and ongoing programme advocacy in the face of a significant decrease in disease burden are key priorities for achieving the elimination goal.