Although the rainfall Botswana is currently experiencing countrywide has come as a blessing to many, it could mean loss of lives to others. Just as it brings water to fill up our dams, it also brings with it malaria cases which have so far claimed the life of one citizen in Kweneng East.
So far, the country has recorded cases of about 63 persons with malaria.
Bobirwa is currently the region with the highest recorded cases at 13, followed by Gaborone and Ngamiland, places which have both recorded 10 infected persons.
Kweneng ÔÇôEast has 7 cases, followed by Boteti‘s 6.Okavango, Chobe and Serowe each have 4 cases, while Kgatleng and Tutume have only 3.
Selebi-Phikwe remains the least affected with only two infected persons.
“From 24 October 2010, which marks the beginning of the malaria season, to 15 January 2011, 63 malaria cases have been confirmed and one death has been reported,” said the Principal Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Health, Temba Sibanda. “Malaria in Botswana affects all age groups; of the 63 cases, 25 were children under the age of five years and the rest are above five years.”
This past week, the Ministry of Health warned that the New Year is likely to bring with it high levels of malaria transmissions because of the rainfall the country is experiencing.
“Everyone in the country is at risk of malaria infection, therefore, people are advised to take all the necessary precautions to protect themselves against this deadly disease,” read a statement from the ministry.
MOH has cautioned Batswana to use insect repellents, and wear clothing that covers arms and legs as well as sleep in mosquito nets, when they are available.
While at home, people are advised to cut grass and rid of anything that could collect rain water as this could be turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. It’s also said that those travelling from places that haven’t been affected by malaria to those areas that have recorded cases of malaria should visit a clinic two weeks before they travel.
Also at risk are pregnant women living in malaria infected areas, they are advised to take malaria prevention pills throughout their pregnancy up until 6 weeks after delivery.