As the Malaria-prone season fast gets underway, with climate conditions favouring the breeding of the notorious Anopheles mosquito, authorities at the Ministry of Health have announced the good news that the disease is currently under control.
Tjantilili Mosweunyane, the Chief Medical Officer for the Malaria Elimination Programme says Botswana has significantly managed to reduce Malaria cases.
A study in the University of Maryland in US has found a new way of fighting malaria using toxins from spiders and scorpions venom. They have been testing with different types of scorpions in arizona to see if their toxins are highly beneficial as the rest to find out if every toxin of the scorpions works or if it just with several species. The venom from scorpions have genes that make them a natural mosquito killer when their highly concentrated reproductive cells come into contact with a mosquito exoskeleton. They penetrate through into the insects internal organs to kill it from the inside out.
When updating the media on progress made since the launch of ‘Nyeletso Malaria’ campaign in 2010 said there has been a downward trend in reported Malaria cases. “In 2000 there were 8000 confirmed cases. Major epidemics occurred in 1993, 1996 and 1997, resulting in significant loss of lives,” she said.
Mosweunyane says Malaria cases were reduced in 2012 with 193 cases but increased to 1 345 in 2013 before they once again dropped significantly to 96 in 2014.
The Chief Medical Officer says they have mobilized resources and strengthened border collaborations to ensure the elimination of the deadly disease especially in the northern part of the country where most of the occurrences are recorded.
One major challenge they are facing, Mosweunyane says, is population mobility to neighbouring countries that have a high transmission rate.
Despite the positive strides that the ministry has made in fighting the epidemic, Mosweu advised members of the public to keep observing preventive measures.