Six malaria deaths in Mpumalanga

2011-01-10 17:27
Mbombela - Six people have died of malaria in Mpumalanga since September last year, compared to five deaths reported in the same period in 2009/10.

The number of cases has also risen from 515 to 697, said spokesperson for the Mpumalanga department of health and social development Mpho Gabashane on Monday.

“This shows that malaria cases have shown a steady increase this financial year in the province,” said Gabashane.

Gabashane blamed the increase in patients who sought help too late, misdiagnosis and delays in referrals from clinics to hospitals.

The department's MEC, Dikeledi Mahlangu, announced last year that the province was doing whatever it took, including spraying the inside of homes with the pesticide DDT to reduce the number of malaria cases to zero by 2015.

She said more than 469 000 structures were sprayed with DDT in the malaria hot-spots of Nkomazi, Bushbuckridge and the Kruger National Park.

There has also been an increase in malaria in Limpopo, where reported cases nearly doubled over December and January from 236 last year to 440 this year.

Most of the cases were reported in the north-eastern parts of the province, where residents and travellers to the area have been urged to take precautions, like using prophylactics and sleeping under mosquito nets.

Anyone who develops flu-like symptoms within two weeks of visiting high-risk malaria areas is also advised to seek medical help immediately.

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