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SA receives ALMA Award for malaria efforts

Priscilla Khumalo

International relations

South Africa has been awarded the 2016 African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Award for Achieving the Malaria Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target.

President Jacob Zuma seen here with (left) UN Secrectary-General Ban ki-moon, the new African Union (AU) Chairman Chad Derby and AU Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.The award was presented to President Jacob Zuma during the ALMA meeting for Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) recently.

In South Africa, malaria cases have decreased by 82 per cent and deaths have  decreased by 71 per cent, since the year 2000 to date.

The decrease in malaria cases has been attributed to a sound malaria vector control programme, where the country has used dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane or DDT odourless insecticide for Indoor Residual Spraying, coupled with other World Health Organisation recommended interventions.DDT is colourless, crystalline, tasteless and is used as a pesticide for insect control.

"We are honoured to receive this 2016 ALMA Award, which recognises the efforts that our programme in South Africa has made, not only in the past decade, but also investments we have made to fight malaria since the 1940s,” said President Zuma.

He also noted that while South Africa was delighted at the country’s successes, government would not be complacent in tackling the disease.

“In this regard we have committed to eliminate the disease from within our borders. We are also working with our neighbouring countries to also fight the disease in our neighbourhood,” said President Zuma.

The President led a South African delegation to the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU in Ethiopia recently.