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Roll Back Malaria Progress & Impact Series

Focus on South Africa

Focus on South Africa
Photo: © L Bergeron /
RBM Secretariat
Progress and impact of malaria control in South Africa at a glance

South Africa has been able to roll out and sustain effective malaria control interventions for more than 70 years, largely through domestic funding. After a major epidemic in 1999/2000, the country implemented evidence-based and practical policies that have successfully positioned it to eliminate the disease by 2018.

The country has a decentralized malaria control programme, with the national malaria programme at the National Department of Health (NDOH) defining policies and guidelines, and providing technical support to provinces. Activities occur at a provincial level, funded by a dedicated budget through the national treasury. Elimination interventions are focused on cross-border collaborations with Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, integrated vector management, robust health promotion activities and a solid active surveillance programme.

The national budget for malaria control increased significantly between 2007 and 2008, reaching an average of US$ 25 million annually between 2009 and 2012.

South Africa enforced malaria control strategies and implemented critical interventions:

Added to continued socioeconomic improvements in South Africa, the roll-out of malaria control interventions and strategies allowed the following disease burden reductions:

The main lesson learned from more than 70 years of malaria control efforts in South Africa is that the country has been using indoor residual spraying to decrease the disease burden and effective antimalarial drugs over time, adapting its policies based on appropriate surveillance data.

South Africa has developed a malaria elimination plan, with the goal to end local transmission by 2018. It is hoped the country will close the funding gap already identified, so that it can strengthen its human resource capacity, improve its evidence-based research for surveillance and response, and ultimately realise its malariafree goal.

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Focus on South Africa

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