Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Botswana’s 2020 malaria target out of reach – Report

The World Malaria Report 2019 shows that whilst Botswana has reported significant progress towards the elimination of malaria, the country’s ambitions of achieving the global technical strategy (GTS) target of at least a 40% reduction in incidence by 2020 are out of reach.

On a positive note, trends in indigenous malaria cases in Botswana now appear to be decreasing. This comes after indigenous malaria cases spiked by over 259 percent from 2016 to 2017 when the country recorded 1 150 and 2 989 malaria cases respectively.

As for the four frontline countries of the Elimination-8 (E8) initiative in southern Africa, that is: Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Eswatini, the report says: “despite previous decreases in case incidence between 2010 and 2015, all of the countries had an increase between 2015 and 2018, which means that currently none are on track to achieve the GTS target of at least a 40% reduction in incidence by 2020.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) designated Botswana as part of the “E-2020 countries” meaning he country has the potential to eliminate malaria by the year 2020. However the report shows that whilst “Botswana and Eswatini also saw reductions in reported cases between 2017 and 2018, by 69% and 62%, respectively”, the country is not close to achieving zero indigenous malaria cases or nearing the finish line. The report also states that the reason why Botswana is not on track to achieve the GTS target of at least a 40% reduction in incidence by 2020 is because of challenges which include “inadequate coverage of vector control, importation of cases from neighbouring countries and resurgence during the past 3 years.”

The share of estimated malaria cases in countries in southern Africa in 2018 shows that Eswatini recorded the least with 0.2%, followed by Botswana with 0.5%, South Africa with 5.4% and Namibia with the highest of 29.2%. The report also shows that 100% of high risk population in Botswana had access to indoor residual spraying (IRS) and long-lasting insecticidal net (LLIN).

The sub region had nearly 178 000 and the report states that Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia and South Africa “accounted for almost 50% of cases and Eritrea accounted for almost 40%.”

The World Malaria Report 2019 is based on information received from more than 80 countries and areas with ongoing malaria transmission. The report also provides a comprehensive update on global and regional malaria data and trends. The report tracks investments in malaria programmes and research as well as progress across all intervention areas: prevention, diagnosis, treatment, elimination and surveillance. It also includes dedicated chapters on the consequences of malaria on maternal, infant and child health, the “High Burden to High Impact” approach as well as biological threats to the fight against malaria.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

Sunday Standard July 12 – 18

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of July 12 - 18, 2020.