Malaria in South Africa: 110 years of learning to control the disease
In Africa today, the drive towards controlling malaria is comparable with efforts made in the 1950s and 1960s during the World Health Organization’s Global Malaria Eradication Campaign. Unlike the Eradication Campaign that ‘covered’ the globe but excluded Africa, the current endeavours focus on Africa, but not to the exclusion of the rest of the tropical and sub-tropical world. Major donor agencies are partnering with African governments in an attempt to curb transmission of malaria parasites, and in some countries on the edges of the distribution of malaria, there is talk of eliminating the disease. South Africa is at the very southernmost fringe of malaria distribution on the African continent and has a long history of intense malaria control activities. This article looks at what South Africa has achieved in the past and where it needs to go in the future, not only to maintain the status quo, but hopefully to eliminate transmission of the disease within its borders.