Focus on malaria prophylaxis – Can we conquer the ‘mighty’ parasite?
South Africa is one of the countries that has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for elimination of malaria by 2018.1 Until the end of 2016, the country was doing very well, with most areas in the elimination phase. There was however a significant setback in 2017, with an alarming increase in cases and deaths.2 This was due to a number of factors, including high rainfall, humidity and ambient temperatures following a year of low rainfall and an unusually mild winter. These environmental factors allowed ongoing mosquito and parasite development. Combined with late indoor residual spraying, due to difficulty in getting insecticides and finances, the stage was set for the malaria mosquito and parasite. This highlights the need to be vigilant and to keep up-to-date. Malaria risk areas are changing all the time due to climatic factors, insecticide resistance and a break down in control methods. Fortunately last year and up until November this year, we have seen far fewer malaria cases in South Africa.