South Africa: Malaria notification data, February 2020
Communicated: National Institute for Communicable Diseases
For the month of February 2020, 781 malaria cases were notified through the National Notifiable Medical Conditions Surveillance System (NMCSS), a decrease of 22% compared to February 2019. Of the 781 notified cases, 131 cases were excluded from further analysis due to missing data or being identified as a duplicate report. The majority of the 650 remaining cases were reported in non-endemic districts (56%, 364/650), with districts in Gauteng Province (57%, 207/364) once again accounting for most of this burden. Males (61%, 389/640), predominately between the ages of 20 and 40 years, were the most affected by malaria in both the endemic and non-endemic districts. Of the 68 notified cases of malaria in children under the age of five, 58% (40/68) came from non-endemic districts, mainly within the Gauteng Province. Microscopic examination of blood smears remains the main method of diagnosis (87%, 564/650) for cases captured by the NMCSS. Intravenous (IV) quinine as opposed to the recommended IV artesunate was used to treat 22% (22/99) of the severe malaria patients, primarily at health facilities located within non-endemic districts (91%, 20/22). During this reporting period, a marked decrease in the importation of malaria from neighbouring Mozambique was noted, while Gauteng Province reported a number of malaria cases imported from South Africa’s endemic districts.
Important: Note that these data do not reflect the country’s total burden of malaria disease, as most malaria endemic districts are currently using alternative malaria case recording systems, such as the District Health Information System 2 (DHIS2).